There is an old Seinfeld episode called “The Soup Nazi” that comes to mind when I think of my writing lately…”bad blogger, no soup for you!”
That said, my apologies for the long absence. My mother’s sudden death in late March threw me for a loop as it were and writing about parenting, and specifically being a mother has been tough.
My mother never met our son, for a variety of reasons. Yet, altho’ he will never know her to mourn her…I sorrow for him. My son only has one living grandparent. My wife and I both lost our dads when we were in our teens and my wife’s mother lives too far away for visits of any frequency. I wish he had grandparents who would fuss over him, keep him for the occasional overnight, bake cookies with him and do all those “things” that I imagine “good” grandparents do. But, I can’t change what is, and the reality is that he has one grandmother who will see him maybe twice a year and who really isn’t a “kid person”. So sorry kid, no “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go” for you. I wish this part of his reality could be different.
Yet, altho’ my mother has died, the ripples of her life continue to surround me. My mother’s death has made me increasingly mindful of how I parent. Largely, because much of what I’ve learned about parenting came from my mom. Her whole hearted enthusiasm for small children, her ability to play and the emphasis she put upon reading and learning have all shaped my understanding of how to “be” with my son. However, I also learned what I didn’t want my parenting to look like–her explosive temper and lack of respect for the physical boundaries of her children are things (amongst others) that I most definitely do not want to emulate.
In many ways, my son will be shaped by my mother–by her absence and by who she was. This cannot be helped or changed–because just as she mothered me, I mother. Not in the same ways in which she parented–but with the same love. I find this to be a comfort.