Monday, June 1, 2009

Make no mistake

I've spent the last few months just being angry.

Angry and hurt that there are people I know who don't have much faith in our ability -- MY ability -- to parent.

I'm even angrier when these folks (who will remain nameless) feel the need to point out our parenting prowess when it happens, noting it to anyone who will listen, because they are surprised it exists at all.

I seeth with rage.

Somehow ... telling someone else that we are such good parents with such vim has become an indictment all its own.

Why do I care? My husband asks me this all the time. Why do I care?

It's a rhetorical question.

Rationally I know he's right.

What they THINK really has no basis in any fact. They don't know more than they see in any given snapshot, any given instance. Even in what they read here -- IF they ever read here.

Here is really just a snapshot, too. What I write is not as important perhaps to this equasion of good vs. bad or competant vs. incompetant as what I leave out.

We are all fallible. We all make mistakes. We all hover when we should let go. We all give in when we should stand our ground. We all zig when we should zag.

I know I make mistakes. I'm not June Cleaver.

I'm sure Mrs. Cleaver wouldn't give her kids sno-cones they would spill immediately. Or ice cream so late at night. Good parents would not keep the kids up past the time in which they are cute and amenable. They would not allow such insolence.

Good parents wouldn't let them pick out their own clothes, or go without baths or hair brushing. Good parents would ensure that children are seen and not heard. Good parents would ensure that children are seen and not heard. Good parents wouldn't be angry, or short tempered. They wouldn't say 'see, I told you not to run,' before they kissed a forehead.

Good parents are much more consistent than I am: much more consistent.

Or are they?

I know my parents made mistakes. And their parents made mistakes. And that people thought THEY were bad parents.

Parents throughout history have had to endure the glare of scrunched up faces as their lives -- with all its loud, raucous imperfections -- made an assault on someone else's solitude ... or their idea of the way things should be.

But that is history. Not news.

I'm trying to learn from it. Then let it go.


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