It’s 65+ degrees right now and I’m sitting in my backyard staring at the barren trees. There are a few tufts of grass greening up and poking through, but the trees continue to show the remnants of a cold Winter. Within another month those trees will be bursting with various shades of green and some will even shower us with flowers that almost make the trees look like they are covered in snow. So quickly this back yard will change from dry and see-through to lush and full.
Motherhood often makes me feel the same way.
I have moments of parenthood that feel more like the naked landscape of winter – where I am barely holding on while wondering ff things will ever change into something more. These are the moments where I question if I am a good parent. Do I love my kids enough? Am I doing enough to make sure they are learning what it means to be humble or sensitive or inclusive? Am I making the right choices for schools and extracurricular experiences? Should I help them floss better? Should I be teaching them to do their own laundry or giving them more time to just be children?
These are the thought that run through my head while I’m trying to fall asleep. Am I doing enough?
Strangely, though, in such a quick moment things can change. It’s a split second really. In the midst of questioning if I am doing enough or if I doing it correctly I see something emerge from my children.
My 5 year old looks at me and tells me that she won’t sing taunting cheers with her softball teammates because she doesn’t want the other team to have hurt feelings.
Or when my 8 year old asks if she can use her own money to buy bird seed so she can be prepared if the barn swallows come back this Spring to live on our porch.
Or when my 7 year old who tries to turn away when another kid in his karate class is testing for a stripe because he truly believes that one less person watching might keep this kids from getting nervous.
These moments help me to believe that I must be doing something right. I must be getting it right somehow.
I don’t see these moments everyday. Or maybe I’m just not noticing them on a daily basis. Maybe I should.
Because I need these moments. I need them to pull me through when I’m so unsure of my ability to be a good mother to these amazing little people. I need them as reminders that there is so much good happening even when there is a tantrum or spill or sibling spat over toys. All those must be growing moments as well – even if I fail to see it in the moment.
But for now I’ll keep watching the grass. I’ll listen to the last of the dry leaves rustle. I’ll remember that motherhood will have its seasons and, just as my children, my yard, and my parenting abilities wilt and struggle so will they emerge and grow.
This post was inspired by Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison. Parenting is a challenging job, but what challenges does a parent with Asperger’s face? Join From Left to Write on March 12 as we discussRaising Cubby. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.