Monday, November 19, 2007

firstborn



"our deepest fear is that we are inadequate..." and so the saying goes. i can't ever remember the rest, i suppose that there is some sort of redemption at the end, but the beginning is what often resonates for me.

i've touched on this subject before, and somehow i know this won't be the last time. and really, i'm still trying to figure out why i feel so passionate about it.

most days i feel totally inadequate raising a daughter.

perhaps its because i feel like i have big shoes to fill- i can't ever remember a time when i really didn't like or was truly mad at my own mother. and to this day, we have an amazing friendship. so why should it be so hard to facilitate that with my own daughter?

well, it could be a myriad of reasons. lets first examine her. perhaps the thing that frightens me the most is just how different we are. did i mention that she's only 2? i don't remember what i was like at 2, but i can tell you that when i was 8 i was the first girl to play tackle football (pop warner) in this county. i'm lucky if i can get lily to go down a slide by herself. my favorite white dress is faded blue jeans. lily wretches if she cannot wear a skirt every minute... of every day. lily loves anything and everything princess. i think cinderella needs to sack up and tell her stepmom to beat it, it was her house anyway.... those are just a few examples of our distinctions.


i know, she's 2. her behavior and tendencies are perfectly normal for a 2 year old girl. she is not the exception. but i will ask you. how do you respond when your sweet, tender little girl who just adores and worships every little thing about cinderella and consequently despises those mean stepsisters (who by the way, always "make bad choices") tells you when she feels like being beastly, that she wants to be a mean stepsister- because she wants to be mean that badly. or, what do you do, or say, when that same cute little girl is on the floor writhing because she simply cannot leave the house in anything but a skirt and shiny shoes.



is it that i fear our differences will inhibit us from a thriving friendship later in life? or is it that i fear so much that the way i discipline or don't discipline her will impair her overall well being? or maybe its just that she really isn't like me and we won't ever connect in this magical way i imagined we would. if that is the case i do recognize that i need to get over myself. so what if she doesn't turn out like me- as if i've been rationed the winning personality- there's a lengthy list of things i wish was... and when i think of my closest friends- save lealah, none are much like me at all. i would be honored, and so proud if i raised a emily harper, or shelley blackwell, or jenny schlenker- i could go on- but you get the point.



i guess all i really know is that, yes, she is only 2. and some days are a lot harder than others. i just fear becoming that mom... you know- the mom from spanglish, or american beauty...


regardless of who i become, this much i know... lily will break my heart, likely more than once. and i will continue to blow it, but maybe, just maybe, we could have some laughs along the way.

8 comments:

The Avilas said...

Holls- I think are you doing great. And I will tell you..I am nothing like my mom...we couldn't be more different. And even though we have had our hard times, we are the best of friends now. Lily cherishes you and someday she will know just how to express it!

Holls said...

thanks jen... it's crazy cause i don't feel any of that pressure with oz, it feels so much easier. but the crazy thing is, i still want another girl!!!!

Shelley said...

Hi Holls,
You always have such profound blogs... you're making me feel inadequate with my silly little photo posts. Nevertheless, I've been struggling a bit lately with the whole discipline thing and trying to get Owen potty trained, he'll pee or poop anywhere if he doesn't have a diaper on. I keep telling him he needs to use the toilet but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. Last night he peed on our bed while we were getting ready to go to bed. I was having a rough evening to start with and this just totally did me in. I was so frustrated I just kind of unloaded on him, afterwards I felt horrible. All sorts of thoughts ran through my head... wondering if he would be permanently scarred etc... I feel like my fuse can be so short sometimes. All that to say I think we all often times feel inadequate, but I guess thats where we need to really trust God.

si said...

you are having the same thoughts i have been having lately, which end at the rationale that max is only 2, almost 3. quite possibly the most difficult age before high school. i am the spanker, which until lately i have had no trouble with at all, because i never do it out of anger, although i may be angry, and because shortly afterwards max straightens up and gives me a hug and all is good.

however, the frequency of my desire to spank is increasing as his desire to test me increases. i can't spank him all day, and now i start to ask myself if i am scarring him developmentally by continuing this form of "biblical" discipline. the reality is that he (and lily) are at an age when they need to stretch out and see the limits of their independence. i assume this is the emergence of our sinful nature. although in a nut shell max is a sweet innocent boy and really an angel by some standards (as is lily), he is still a human with the instinct to rebel and the inevitable need for redemption.

i have to praise my wife for her ability to redirect the rebellion with patience. she gets it when i do not. but tonight i kind of get it a little bit. they just want to rebel a little, whether they mean it or not. i'm just guessing, but i don't think lily really means that she wants to be mean, just like max doesn't really mean it when he tells me that he doesn't love me. isn't it too early for that? i just remind him that that's not what he said earlier and he doesn't really mean it. you can't really force that stuff. 4 and a half sounds like a good age. i'm looking forward to 4 and a half.

lily is awesome. must be good parenting.

shelley--hollah, make your blog accept anonymous comments so i can leave you comments. if i set up a google account i'll never remember what my info is. or i'll have to leave you comments on innocent bystanders' blogs. and max pooped on the carpet while he was watching the bath fill up. he said, "oh no, i pooped on the carpet." come on kids. no more body waste around the house.

Holls said...

you guys are great. thanks for the encouragement. maybe we should all just move to las olas... things seemed easier that week.

Shelley Blackwell said...

yeah i like that idea...there's a two bedroom at las olas for sale right now. it's only $550k and it comes with a garage, that ought to be enough room for both families don't you think? simon - i changed the settings on our account it should accept anonymous comments now. let me know if if doesn't work.

Holls said...

shell- do you know a good realtor down there?

The Harper Family said...

Holls...Thanks for the sweet shout out. You're already better than alot of moms because you think about it. Being aware of your responsbility as a mother and acknowledging the role you have in Lily's life is a huge part of it ...I think!