Saturday, May 9, 2015

Not everyone is cut out for this Mom gig!

My sincerest apologies for being incommunicado for Lo, these five months. Please accept my Happy:
New Year
Valentine’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
May Day
… greetings, and my really good excuse:

I got drafted… for motherhood. As a child of the ‘60s, I know about the draft!

Yes, as I was making plans for my friend’s daughter’s baby shower, for a former trainee’s wedding, and for my 45th high school reunion, I got my draft notice, with a 1-A classification for Honorary Mom. In my wildest dreams, I NEVER imagined this would/could/should happen to me, and certainly not after my child-bearing years

((You’ve heard the politically-incorrect contention that “As long as there are exams, there will be prayer in schools”. Well, as long as 60+year-olds find themselves called to become first-time parents, there will be prayer everywhere!))

The Kincaids have a 21-year-old in the house. 
When I mentioned this to a 40-something girlfriend, she responded, “A 21-year-old? Really? Wow, at least I had 21 years to learn how incompetent I am! You got thrown in the deep end!” 
That’s exactly how I feel, and not that Abby*** has ever pointed that out to me, I am daily convinced that motherhood really needs to be approached … slowly …from the shallow end.

Shortly after she got installed in our guest room, I was chatting with my mom on the phone, catching her up on the latest household developments. As the daughter who never gave her grandkids, I’ve never had this topic to discuss with Mom before. Given this opportunity, I was amazed at how smart Mom was, even about 21-year-olds. (I don’t remember her being that smart when I was 21.) Without having yet met Abby***, Mom played devil’s advocate, asking wise, delving, pragmatic questions about this “new thing” we’re doing.  Thankfully, she’s still in my corner.

I have several moms in my social circle, some of 20-somethings, all much younger than myself. When the conversation turns to Abby***, they seem to rise high above me, as if on a cloud, seated in an easy lotus position, ringed by an other-worldly light. 
               They have wisdom to bestow. 
              They have experiences to share. 
              I should take notes.
As I raise my novice questions, I see their eyes glaze over as they do the math, and - in their heart of hearts - thank God that they were allotted the full 9 months and 21 years. Others escape the conversation altogether (I can tell by the smirk on their faces), thinking only about how they’re going to turn their departing 21-year-old’s room into a craft room. 

No, motherhood is way too intimidating, way too demanding.
I can’t do this,  … but I can’t kick her out either. 
I KNOW, I’ll become her life coach! That will be much easier.

 - We’ll talk about living on her own, and time- and space- management.
- I’ll counsel her about giving 100% to her job, even on the bad days.
- I’ll ready her for her driving test by letting her drive the car when we run errands.
- She says she wants to get a car, so we’ll set up a budget.
- She’s already good on the computer, so pushing the right buttons on the clothes and dish washers should be easy.
- Our freezer is too small for a lot of frozen dinners, so I’ll involve her in meal prep so she can get some recipes in her repertoire. 
- She doesn’t need to learn to like coffee, but we can stay up to the wee hours talking about movies, God, careers, and self-image over mugs of hot chocolate.
- I’ll point out opportunities to her, and encourage her to pursue her dreams, to take risks, not to let other people throw wet blankets on her hopes, and to be brave.
- I’ll cheer her successes.

Oh, yes, life-coaching will be much easier than mothering!

Maybe I'll interview hubby for my June blog… get his perspective on being a first-time dad. He's pretty brave.
Happy Mother’s Day greetings to all you courageous souls, no matter how deep or shallow, honorary or undeserved, easy or intimidating, your motherhood is. I tip my green beret to you.

***name has been changed to protect the not-yet-criminally-insane 

No comments:

Post a Comment