Sunday, August 31, 2008
Being a mom is bringing me to my knees. Literally, because I cry out to God for wisdom and patience, and figuratively, as I wonder why parenting isn't more intuitive and a whole lot easier. I had Frankie when I was 30 and had a number of years to be pretty good at the things I put my mind to. But, as another mom blog pointed out, there is no valedictorian of motherhood. And I have never liked things that I can't get an "A" in. As Dean can attest to, I cried when we got a 70% compatibility rating on our pre-marital counseling multiple question test.
Parenting plays to my weaknesses. It requires relentless daily maintenance, when I have always been a procrastinator, driving my parents to distraction with desperate late night projects like a mousetrap car for physics class the day before it was due. It requires evenness of temperament, when I have always had a tendency to get fired up, once getting in a verbal altercation with a homeless man in D.C. who refused some pizza I offered him by holding up a sign that read "No junk food." It requires non-stop interaction, when I am known for getting so lost in the solitude of reading a book that I don't hear people speaking to me.
Since we've had so much company in our house lately, I have seen how other children act out compared to Frankie. Other kids seem to do more physical disobedience, running away or throwing things they aren't supposed to. Frankie engages in mental battles, pushing at the limits and trying to find the weak spots. She is like a prize racehorse, itching to run, while I have to keep her still at the gates. I can't let up on the reins or she'll break down the door and stampede into the stands.
It's ironic that the one thing I really want to excel at is the one thing I feel like I'm most in danger of failing in.