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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Motherhood and Other Impossible Things

I have some things on my mind.  Perhaps if I convey the stories we can both ponder and it might bring some type of understanding of what is happening in my world.

So last week I am driving past the middle school; and my child remarks that the girls soccer games have started.  And due to scheduling, some of their games will be on the practice field.  I asked why -- because that field isn't maintained like the other field.  She replies that the boys' soccer team gets to use the actual field, the girls only use it if the boys do not need it.  I was genuinely surprised and expressed something about the unfairness of it.  Her reply was "well, Mom, that's just the way it is."  Hmmm.  Okay.

This week I am conversing with a young friend of another one of my children.  We are discussing the fact that she runs for the track team.  "Oh, cool!" I exclaim as we discuss what events she participates in.  "Do you like to run?" I ask.  "Umm, well -- no."  The child looks down, avoiding my eyes.  "Well, then why do you do it?" I ask.  "For college; to get a scholarship; I do things to get into college  -- that's the only reason I do anything."  Hmmmm.  Okay.

See this picture?  Today I am looking at this paperwhite; I put it into water back in December; had a big 'ole vase of them -- most grew roots and bloomed beautifully in my bedroom, bringing the luxurious feel and scent of Spring throughout this dark Winter.  When I went to compost the spent bulbs this one was lurking in the bottom; maybe it was crowded by the others, maybe it just didn't like the sunlight or temperature.  I placed it in it's own little vase on my kitchen window, and noticed it daily.

And now, a little late, it is blooming.  It makes me happy.  And I am noticing how long the roots are; it took a LOT of water.  I notice the pregnant bulge of the bulb; and how very many green leaves it takes to create the food to feed this one small and short-lived bundle of flowers.

All these stories lead to an emotional hard spot -- I have hit a patch in my mothering career that is beyond difficult.  I have a problem, and I do not know what to do.

I look back through the years of being a parent -- I have felt many emotions.  I have been confused; terrified; overwhelmed; exhausted.  I have been thrilled; amazed; joyful; hopeful; and filled with a love so deep I thought I would burst.  Gazing back to the toddler years with my rose colored bifocals and it seems there was more black and white then. 

As I move into parenting teens there is this vast sea of gray. 

So, today, I will remember my paperwhite; it couldn't just fit in with the pack; it needed it's own space and extra attention.  And it blossomed on its schedule, not mine.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013


So recently my daughter had a friend over for a visit; right after school, they did homework together.  At some point in the afternoon they wandered into the living room; I was working myself through a basic hatha yoga routine.  Nothing crazy, but not simple.  I personally need a sweaty yogic kick-in-the-pants to focus. 

“Ohhhh, wow, Ms. Loftis!  You’re really great at yoga!”  My daughter’s friend kept watching.  It used to bother me to be watched during practice; but, I have three children -- at this point, it feels like part of the practice to just let that whole thing go and keep flowing.

She kept on with the comments and compliments.  I deflected, put it all aside. – “Oh, honey, not really; I’m just practicing.”  She compliments and comments again; I make small talk and diminish; just working through my routine, my junk; she only sees the outer stuff, but I see all the sticky, inner mess.  I know this is not an advanced practice.  I might be doing a headstand, but internally -- it’s yogic kindergarten.

 “Ohhh” – she comments to my daughter – “your Mom is just like you – she doesn’t think she is good at anything.” 

I snap to attention.

My brilliant, beautiful daughters – I have two of them, and when I say they are brilliant and beautiful it is truth -- I do not brag.  I have taught them.  And this is the result? 

Apparently -- not with words, but with action – I have taught them not to own their amazingness; to dodge compliments; to avoid praise.  I have taught them the complete opposite of my words.  I can tell them all day, all week, all year, that they are smart, resourceful, amazing women.  But when they listen to me avoid praise, diffuse compliments; to not come into my own being.  That is what they remember, they recall; it is what they live.

A few months later a dear friend’s daughter posts this to Facebook right at Valentines’ Day: 

Reminiscing on past relationships, I realized my best one ever was with myself. I took myself on the best dates, always knew just what to buy me, never forgot to tell myself I looked nice, rarely fought with me, didn't have to wait around for me to call, spending time with me was always a blast, and when I was being a bitch to me i didn't even get angry. Maybe I'll take me out for valentine's day. I love me.”
My first reaction is confusion – who likes themselves this much?  Who has this beautiful, kind, generous relationship with anyone except those OUTSIDE of themselves?
Then I realized; this child’s mother – she taught her well.  Or maybe; just maybe; she arrived with the knowledge.

Either way, it shines and light for me and for my girls - ooohhhhh goodness; Goddess Bless; this Mamma has sooooo much work to do.


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