Monday, December 6

Composition of Parenting: Take One

This weekend Wesley turned 8. I consider the ages of 1, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 40, & 100 milestone birthdays. So feeling the realm of emotions that I have been experiencing with this new turning of age, has caught me off guard.

December 4th, eight years ago, I was 19 years old, scared, single, and about to be a mother. Insecure in my new position, I hesitated the first time I referred to myself as "Mom", remembering how strange it sounded coming out of my mouth.  There I was, with a son, completely dependent on me to guide his life in the right direction, while uncertain of the direction of my own.

Worries of daycare, diapers, appointments, burps, working, and my own education were juggled. Afraid of feeding him fruit too soon or veggies too late.  Nervous about when will he start crawling and how many hours did I have at work? Was 18 credits in a semester too much and was 10 months old too early to walk? All the while, consciously reading the books to make sure to ditch the pacifier before his life was altered in a negative way.

Those problems and hurdles felt so heavy, so large.

The blind course of parenthood isn't easy, but up until now, it has been very straight forward. Similar to writing. Research is done and the outline is created. You know what you expect and you know what your outcome should be, you draft. Depending on your "What to Expect the First Year" hand book and other's advice who's walked the path you are following, information is chronically contained. Here is where the lessons of social acceptance are taught. Don't bite, don't hit, inside voice, outside voice, ideas are tested and consequences can easily be backspaced, corrected, and previous attempts for the easiest flow forgotten.
Exhausting physically, time consuming, tiresome work.

The next stage is revising. The stage I have found myself in the middle of. Time where attention needs to be payed to the details, where they are fine tuned and layers revealed. I know my outline is grounded, but the foundation needs to be strong. Mistake aren't as easy forgiven and my direction can sometime become unclear. I know where I want us to be, but not sure the best approach to get there. Unpredictable twists are taken, but my structure needs to be consistent, the question of whether I'm taking the right path is heavy with self doubt.
Exhausting mentally, tedious, worrisome work.

I'm good at outlines. I know my way around guarding heads from table corners, booboo's healing quickly with a "Mumma kiss", savoring in the unfiltered spoken thoughts. I'm in uncharted territory figuring out how to lead Wesley in the right direction in his life, while he's figuring out how to live it.

I don't know what's to come, but I can guarantee a lot of time will be spend revising, many years of learning is going to be done along the way, on both parts. And until then, we celebrate the age of 8 and the mystery twists and turns it will surely provide.

1 comment:

secondsanctuary said...

Sam, I'm falling in love with your life. Your writing is tremendously inviting and engaging while also clearly demonstrating your determination to work at your craft. You are good. Have you ever read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld? You have her style. Your words say what you want to say. You make them do that.

I love seeing my quilt under baby toes, wine glasses, naked bodies, Woody from Toy Story.

I have a son named Wesley. He's 11.

Beverly Sullivant


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