Here’s the situation: I’ve always felt that I’ve been a “jack of all trades, master of none” type of person since I figured out how to skip classes in high school and still get more-than-acceptable grades. I’ve tried painstakingly hard to accomplish some goals, while others I let sort of mingle around in the “I’ll get to it…eventually” zone of my to-do list. I’ve been like this since I can remember.
When I was in fifth grade, our class participated in a program called “Exchange City,” where students took various jobs for a day and had to pretend like they were working that role. The roles included fast food workers, police officers, bank workers, etc. I, of course, wanted to work at the bank, because that’s where the good money came in. However, when asked which job at the bank I wanted, I said confidently- “VICE PRESIDENT, Mr. Smith!” My teacher looked at me, a bit puzzled, and said, “You don’t want to be President?” I immediately thought of the amount of responsibility the President would have, and how I’d rather be a step below that. What my fifth-grade mind was thinking, I couldn’t tell you. Still, I slid into my role as VP of bank operations, check book in hand. Fast forward 18 years later, and I am in a position at my current job where I do nearly the same amount of work as my superior, but I don’t have the title (and I still don’t do math.) Funny, nobody told me that not only would I not have the title, but I wouldn’t have the money, either!
I often think back to that time in my younger years and I wonder if that attitude I demonstrated was due to fear. Fear of what? Failure? Conflict? Letting people down? I’m not a psychologist, but I think there’s something there that I’m missing.
When it comes to Wesley, I’m terrified. I’m scared of not doing enough to help him grow. I’m afraid of him learning things that will turn him into an individual who makes terrible choices. I’m afraid that who he becomes may become a reflection of my sub-par parenting. Am I alone in thinking this? Probably not, I just want to be the best mama I can be to help him grow into an amazing young man. He’s already the most amazing baby.
That brings me to the “watering the seedling” part of my post. I’ve never been an excellent gardener, although growing my own vegetables and herbs seems like the dream. I’ve managed to keep small plants alive for some time, but never had the drive and motivation to plant an entire garden, or the space to utilize, for that matter. On that same note, I’ve scared myself into thinking that I will lose my motivation to grow an amazing human being. I’m scared of this because of the utter craziness that is every-day life. I have to work my full-time job, make sure he eats three meals a day and a snack, make sure I’m doing what I can to keep my breastmilk production from tanking, keep him AND myself up to date on doctor’s appointments, monitor every penny I spend on trying to keep up my household, make sure I’m figuring out how to brush his NINE teeth properly, vacuum the house every day because the damn dogs don’t stop shedding, etcetera, etcetera! How in the world did every detail get so complicated to accomplish?! I ask myself this, and then I realize that I haven’t cleaned behind his ears properly, immediately letting mom-guilt flood in.
My plan is to home-school, or “un-school” or whatever it is you’d like to call it. In a dream world, I’ll help grow my sweet little boy into an educated, respectful, super conscious human being that is one giant ray of sunshine. But…can I do it? Will some aspect of his learning go by the wayside because of my careless oversight? I start to panic… Have I been reading to him enough? Have I set the stage at his age now to be able to transition him into the learning environment that will be best for him? How come he’s not grasping the concept of the puzzles I’ve been creating for him? Am I failing as a teacher, as a mother?
Last night, Wesley himself answered a few of my questions. There I was, watching him play with his toys, listening to him say “BA ba baaab bababababa,” and then he crawled over to his bookshelf, grabbed a book, opened it himself, and started turning the pages.
It hit me- this little boy is amazing, and I’m not failing. I’m doing the best I can, I’m showering him with love and teaching him as much as I possibly can. I’m signing to him, talking to him, reading to him, and constantly learning from him just as much as he’s learning from me and this crazy world. I’ve been watering this sweet little seedling the whole time, and I have to remember to water myself, too. As much as he grows, I grow, and WE can do this. The one area I’ve never wanted to be Vice President in- being a mom. I want to be the President/Queen/Her Majesty of rocking the crap out of motherhood. Wesley motivates me every day. Maybe I just needed to be doing something I truly loved. And damn, did I find something I love. I doubt myself constantly, and you know what? I probably will continue to do so. However, I strive every single day to do better, to be better for the most precious little boy in my life.
I’ll continue to water us, and I can’t wait to see how we grow.