Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mommy Dearest,

Before I had my children, I often tried to imagine what I'd be like when I was a mother. I would make perfectly round chocolate chip cookies, and make sure they were on time for their dance lessons and soccer games. I would be the epitome of the all american soccer mom. There would certainly be a van in the two car garage. The white picket fence would need a new coat of paint every couple of years and our golden retriever would fetch the paper for us on Sunday mornings.

It's been almost seven years since the birth of my first child, and I realize now that my illusions of grandeur will never become reality. I have new ideals about motherhood now. If their teeth get brushed before bed, I can feel accomplished. If we make it to an appointment at all, that's reason to rejoice. Being a mother is tough, but being a good mother takes skill and the ability to realize you'll never be perfect.

I flashback to my own childhood often, but things look different to me now that I'm an adult. The heartache that I felt when I wasn't able to go to Chuck E. Cheese is similiar to the way my heart aches when I have to tell my children we're not able to go. Unfortunately, there are differences, but it makes me wonder if my parents ached for my brother and I. The reasons that I was told no, were different than the reasons I tell my own children no. Then, my parents usually erased Chuck E. Cheese off the calendar because the neighbor just scored some awesome weed that needed to be taste tested. Now, I try to stick to a budget so someday I can pay for my children's college.

I'm not saying I'm better, simply scarred and trying to do it all differently. I love my mother, because she did carry me for nine months instead of doing away with me like she so easily could have. I love her because she worked hard, even though it may not have been completely for her children. I can now understand that her parenting was a reflection of her own horrible childhood. I think most parents like to think that they give their own children a better life than they had. In the end, no matter how hard we try to fight it, we do end up like our parents. If that's the case, I can see now that my mom truly adored the essence of me.

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