If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother

Nana and ZecaI survived 8 days with my mother and, as tempting as it is to make a t-shirt with that declaration, I am going to try to avoid the cheap laugh. I could spend a great deal of time enumerating the petty issues that arose during our visit and I could do it with signature wit. We could all have a good laugh but I am going to pass. Instead, I will look at this picture of my mother and my daughter and hold tight to the best. From the moment I became a parent, I vowed to be a different mother than my own. I truly believed that I could avoid every single mistake she made. Inherent in this vow is the idea that there is a right way to parent which hints at the terrible perfectionism that serves as my constant shadow. Nearly seven years into this parenting thing, I have realized that I am making a set of mistakes all my own and a few of the same ones that my mother made as well. My kids are going to grow up with a complicated relationship to me. They will need to push against me, will need space from me and will likely complain about me to their friends. I am giving myself over to this inevitability which is not a depressing resignation but a very small step towards accepting my imperfection...which may not really be such a small thing after all.