Monday, February 23, 2009

lessons in parenting

Seven years ago today I was suddenly in charge of a wee little girl with dark hair and blue eyes and I was rather tired. These days she's not so wee little anymore. She's actually growing at a rapid rate that is astonishing to me. But in a case of "the more things change..." the thing that hasn't is being tired.

I was the oldest child and I feel sorry for myself seeing how clueless I am with my own first child. First children get gypped because they are the guinea pig. They are the bottom of a steep learning curve. Bummer for first children.

Parenting lessons are of the learning genre that requires real experience. Books may help, but they are no substitute for the real deal. There is nothing like being a parent to show you who you really are. I have learned a few of my strengths, but boy are there a lot of weaknesses. Motherhood should make me perpetually humble. If only I were wise enough to hang on to the humility long enough, I might actually learn something. I'm trying.

As it is, I was telling Ben of my improvements in being more patient the past little while. Um, guess who wasn't the pillar of loving patience this morning? Still, there is progress.

Saturday night we were out shopping for birthday presents. We were analyzing the merits of two different soccer balls. I took one of the balls and pressed it to my cheek. Ben looked at me quizzically.

"I'm just trying to figure out which one will hurt the least if it gets kicked into someone's face."

We chose the appropriate ball.

See, I have learned something after all.


  1. That's what I always thought too about the oldest children! You're right, there is no way to learn except practice by doing!

  2. see, only a mother would think about something like that!

    And my germ-a-phobic husband would then have refused to kiss me until I had thoroughly scrubbed my cheek.

    The price we pay to be good moms!