Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Grown Ups Wanted.
I wanted to have children. I planned for them. I longed for them.
I thought it was an informed decision.
I was married for ten years before we even started to try. I traveled. I had a career.
I got to the point where I looked at babies and felt a clutch in my heart.
I baby sat for friends. I changed diapers and gave bottles.
I waited until weekends seemed a bit endless and even boring.
I was ready.
It was everything I expected and a whole lot I didn't.
I have never been so in love, as I was cradling my infant daughters and gazing into their eyes.
Watching them learn to walk, bathing their sweet, silky bodies - these were all things I imagined and planned for.
Cut to today with me explaining to the eight year old that her words might be offensive.
"What does offensive mean?"
I had a shocking realization.
I am responsible for the morals, ethics and behaviors of another human being. Two in fact.
I understand that when they are older they are on their own with that but for now it's my job to guide them.
It's my job to navigate them through decision making, friendships, manners, socializing.
I do not feel prepared.
I thought about snuggling with a sweet baby.
I failed to realize that sweet baby would grow and be joined by a sister, who would also join her in the ongoing pursuit of aging.
I was comfortable with the snuggling, bottles and diapers.
I am not sure how I feel about this part.
Somedays as I seem to do nothing but re-direct, guide (ok shout) and teach - I wonder who am I now?
Who is this woman cutting up grapes and trying to find a graceful way to explain how we deal with the need to fart in a friends car?
Later, when I am looking into a crumpled face as I hand down a consequence - I wonder what happened to my life?
It feels ludicrous that just because I wanted a cute pink baby, I am now responsible for her emotional well being.
In my head I am still 25 and thinking mostly about shoes, parties and music.
When I see the trusting eyes of the eight year old as she comes to me for advice or help, I can't help feeling that I didn't think this through completely.
This is the point when I really have to find something better than "because I said so."
I'm willing to accept responsibility but shouldn't someone have mentioned this to me?
Shouldn't I have had some inclination that this was in the long range forecast?
Did I skip that class?
It's not that I am unwilling in this task. It's just that the task seems more age appropriate for a grown up.
That can't possibly be me?