Fridays with Robynn – “Oops! I just need a little space…..”
Once when my Adelaide was 5, she brought her ‘daughter’ –her younger sister –to me and said,
“Can you please look after my little girl for me?” I was quick to volunteer my services, “Sure, are you going out shopping?”
“No,” she replied, “I just need a little space!”
Of course five-year old ‘mothers’ learn that from somewhere!
School started here in our town this week. And where most moms were sad that the long lazy days of summer are over, that their time with their young darlings would now be dictated by school schedules, that their babies were being taken away from them….I was not! I was excited, relieved even. I’m just not one of those moms.
Don’t misunderstand me. I love my children. They are full of energy and passion. Each one of them is a charged up personality. They are all three articulate, competitive and opinionated. Each of them are growing into their own strong sense of self. I love them deeply, keenly.
But I also love my space. I love routine. I love predictable rhythms. I love the freedom to write in complete sentences, to think full thoughts. I love quiet.
I cannot do that with my children around me.
For years I felt guilty about these things. Why wasn’t I more maternal? Why wasn’t I more warm and fuzzy?
Several years ago I read a profoundly personal book, Spirituality and the Mother Zone: Staying Centered, Finding God by Trudelle Thomas. Thomas looks at issues surrounding motherhood that others aren’t honest enough to uncover. She talks opening about the loss of control, the occasional rages, the guilt, the resentment, the horrible feeling of not knowing what to do. She explores the secret topics of motherhood. I’ve always been an honest person, but I had never given voice to the niggling thoughts and relentless emotions (including, on occasion, the deep anger). Thomas gave me freedom to be me and the mother that I was created to be.
I guess I’m the best mother God intended for my children. I’m the one He chose for Connor, Adelaide and Bronwynn. As I parent from who I am, with honesty and with joy, my children get me! With all my foibles and faults, with my frenzies and failings….my children get me.
I’m not likely to ever be up for Mother Of The Year, but I’m the mother here: year in, year out. And my children know I love them.
And they know I love having them back in school.
Last week after Sunday school, Connor’s teacher came up to me. She said she had told the kids that mothers are sad too that summer is over and the kids are all going back to school. Connor piped up, “Not my mom…she’s excited!”
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