Sunday, January 20, 2013

There is no training manual, no classes, no sage advice that can prepare you for parenthood. You have no idea what you are doing almost every day. Oh sure...some days your confidence soars as you see them behave properly and appear to listen well...but it falls apart the next day when defiance over carrots, or ice cream leave you spent and doubting. I remember this better than I expected. In a moment I am back in clothes less becoming, hair askew, questioning my sanity in the wake of a sleepless night and a crying toddler. In a blink I can see the piles of dishes, laundry, toys and crayons...I see myself, arms akimbo warning or disciplining what now appear to be angelic cherubs. Flour dusts the floor, cookie dough plastered on hands, face, door sash and counter as the communal effort at baking for daddy has become something akin to spreading batter everywhere except the cookie sheet. The smells then were sweet. The smell of dinner cooking, banana bread, bubble bath and baby powder. I recollect the waft of penaten cream so strong from the bathroom only to discover a 2 year old covered from head to toe, including stuffed in nose, ears and mouth. "It tastes good momma...try?" I hope I laughed at that. I hope I had the sense to see that this moment is what I would recall as precious over others. The kids are mostly grown now. All trying to find their way and figure things out. Sometimes they do this well...and sometimes not. I take it all less seriously now. They are a reflection of me, however, even as a reflection others dip their toe in the water and skew the image. I thought I would be their only imprint. They would look to me to have all the answers and knowledge for successful living. I have no idea where such a grandiose thought came from. I am relieved to know that it is a village that raise a child...and the contribution of many help shape and mould them.

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