Picking favourites, picking sides

Bonhomme, I love it when you call me your “best mom”. It’s beyond endearing. But it worries me. You’ve been telling Daddy that you don’t like it when he reads to you, that you want only me to, and that he “doesn’t read good”. You’ve been wanting only to get changed with me at the pool, although I do think you have a point about the smelliness of the men’s changeroom.

It’s natural to gravitate to one parent more than another; we all do it. We all seem to need someone to rebel against, align with. But he’s got his strengths and I’ve got mine – and you’re going to be angry with each of us, possibly often, probably at the same time.

Raising children is an awesome, awful, awe-inspiring responsibility.
I’m not cut out to be a superhero.
I muddle through, as we all do, with more downs than ups most of the time.

You’re going to go to school this Fall. You’ll learn amazing things, make many new friends, and struggle with the rules. Some of the things you think are normal will turn out not to be – and that’s going to hurt. Like when the kids in the schoolyard make fun of your dad because of his size. What will you say to them? What will we say to you? I can’t stop this speeding train. I’ve only got Best Mom powers. And you’re going to find out that those aren’t always enough.
You’ve got my sensitivity, my empathy, my way with words. My inability to not cry.

Of his own daughter, Matthew D. Laplante said “You, in turn, will be be the person I am. You will be the person I will teach you to be. And you will be the person you will learn to be, exclusive of me. And so it goes and goes.”

You’re my best Bonhomme, my little warrior. I know it’s your nature to draw battle lines, to pick sides. It’s your father’s nature too. And me telling either of you not to isn’t going to do one lick of good.
And so the best I can do is make sure you’re equipped against foreseeable contingencies, and teach you to make do.

I too, will be the person you teach me to be. It’s an awesome responsibility.

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2 comments so far

  1. Lynn on

    This post is so beautiful, Grace, and so well said…just loved it.

  2. moosilaneous on

    You are the best mom.
    And a damn fine blogger too!


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