I have been a mother for eight and a half years, yet today I felt it stronger than ever: I still don’t have this thing down.
The hard thing about parenting is it is more dynamic than the moon.
Yes, I do have QUITE SOME experience as a mother…BUT, I have never parented an eight and a half year old before. I find myself in totally new territory every single morning. I HAVE parented a six year old before, but never one who was a second child, one who was both a little sister and big sister. Two year old? Yes, I’ve done that. But never a two year old who has two older sisters to compete against, not to mention a baby sister that steals away attention. Oh, and one who is about to face a major open heart surgery. Babies? Yes, I have experience with babies, but never this particular baby.
Maybe if I started reading more books on parenting I would be better prepared for this winding road. Books that will anticipate the next stage for me, tell me what is looming ahead and how to get suited up for it. Do such books even exist?
My eight year old is no longer content to play My Little Ponies all day long and this has surprised me. I guess I never anticipated this. Now what do I do with her when she wanders upstairs to me while sisters play contently downstairs looking lost with herself, looking unsure of her new skin that just came that morning. “What am I supposed to do?”
Hmmm…uh…Okay, let’s see…Darn it, I should have a sewing maching on hand for a moment such as this. She needs some extra challenge; this would be a good skill for her. Oh my. I guess I should start teaching her how to cook and fold laundry. Well, let me just get a quick lesson together….
The baby cries.
I feel gnawed at from every angle, unable to get ahead. The stages of life aren’t waiting for me to come to the door…they are barging right in without knocking, WHETHER OR NOT I feel prepared for them.
Haley is learning about the phases of the moon at school. She has had to chart her observations lately, so it has made the whole family aware of whether the moon is waxing or waning. The most recent was a waning gibbous. Before we know it, it will be a crescent and then a new moon and then a full, and then we will lose track, but it will be different every night. Just like they will.