It’s a stormy few days here on the East Coast. I’ve worked from home the past two days because the commute would have been dangerous.
After doing my work, I sat down at the end of the day and watched a movie with my sick kid. It was my very first Tinkerbell movie, and I’m sure it’s not my last.
In the movie, Tinkerbell discovers her “talent.” What she’s good at and has a gift for.
So as I’m bathing my little peanut just almost 2 months shy of her third birthday, I ask her what her talents are. What she’s good at.
Because she’s already a thespian, she quotes from the movie dramatically, “I’m not good at anything!”
“Of course you are!” I respond, adding, “You’re great at singing, building, and drawing. You have many talents. What is daddy good at?”
Swooshing her bathtub fairies around in a magical dance she answers, “Daddy is good at singing.”
“He is, that’s true. What about Mommy? What is Mommy good at?”
“Mommy is good at the computer and taking the school bus and going to work and coming home.”
While I have the memory of a hawk, there are very few things that people say that are that impactful that I will remember what they said for the rest of my life.
This my friends, is something I will never, ever forget
People told me, oh working parents make up for it during the time they are around. That’s what kids remember.
I feel like I’ve been lied to.
My daughter failed to mention my singing. All the times I take her everywhere. The museums, day trips, city trips, book store, play dates, cookie and chocolate shopping/eating, beach, boardwalk, etc.
That I taught her beginning words in French, numbers, phonetics, shapes, colors, days of the week, etc, etc. And to be honest, she taught herself mostly everything.
But the fact is, when my daughter thinks of me, she thinks of me working. She thinks of me gone. She doesn’t think of the time with her.
And I basically wanted to place myself into a coffin. I tried to remind myself of the feminist view.
Look,I think, she sees me as a viable part of the world. Life. A worker. A career woman. How bad can that be?
And I know you can say, “She’s only 3 what does she know,” but I believe kids are honest and smarter than some foolish adults think. This is her new definition of her mother.
I know that we all have times in our lives as people and as parents when we hit rough patches. When we are forced to make choices we don’t want to make, or hit upon hard times that seem to last forever. What makes those times so much better, I suppose, is having support or a team mentality. Or feeling like there is an end in sight.
I feel neither. I feel alone and as if there is no easy solution in sight.
Sometimes, I write because I have something to say. And other times I write because I need other people. I despise that about myself.
I admire that my daughter, who enjoys playing with both boys and girls, still needs to be alone, and is fine with this.
It’s not that I cannot be alone, because I certainly have been, but that I think I need that human connection maybe more than she might as an adult. And I wish sometimes that I didn’t, because then I wouldn’t care if I felt so alone.
What amazes me about my child is her amazing sense of self and identity at such a young age. I cherish the fact that she is such an individual and strong little girl.
If you ever want to know how your child views you, just ask. You will be amazed at their answers. Their honesty will always reveal more than you want to hear, but you must hear it.
I hope one day my daughter will remember me as more than the mom at the computer, on the bus, away from her.
I hope she will remember me right in her heart.
The Lonely Heartbroken Feminist Mother