9/25/2006

on a pedestal

Sometimes I wonder if it's just inevitable that parents let their children down. When we're young we put our parents on pedestals to separate them from the rest of the mortals. They are our protectors, our heroes, our friends and we never think about them making mistakes because they are not like other humans - they're special.

Someone told me once that childhood is what you spend the rest of your life getting over. I wish I didn't believe that but when I look around at all the broken people it's pretty hard to deny it's validity. It would seem that even the best parents somehow screw up their kid without really knowing that their doing it. I think about this a lot because as much as I want to be a good parent, to not let the demons of my past affect my own ability to parent, I know that the chances are pretty great that someday Alice will look back at her childhood and think, "my parents really screwed me up." Maybe it's how we're programmed, to remember the negative moments over the positive ones. Generally we choose doubt over faith, lies over truth, the road more traveled than the one leading somewhere off into places unknown. I don't really think my parents taught me to be that way, in fact it was just the opposite. They wanted better things for me, better chances, more choices, but somewhere down the line I faltered. I know I'm ok now but when I think about all the pain I had to go through and how long it took me to get here, I fear that somehow I'll make the very mistakes my own parents did.

I want to believe that what happens in life is not inevitable. I want to pinch myself every day to make sure I stay conscious of my actions. When we become someone else's parent life becomes less about you and more about them so the mistakes we make turn them into the victims. I never want my children to be victims of my actions. I wish I could believe that being aware was enough. Sometimes we know exactly what we're doing, who it might hurt - but we do it anyway. Sometimes we forget that we're standing on that pedestal in front of our children and it's up to us - not them, to have a damn good grip so that we don't fall off.

3 Comments:

  1. Chuck said...
    I think you've laid a good foundation for your daughter. Are there flaws? Y-e-a-h! But, it's vital to model how you handle mistakes with Alice. She'll need it as much as she'll need all the other positive influences you bring in her life.
    Tab said...
    Net,Just being yourself is the best way to be a Mother.Pedistal or not.
    I love your sweet thoughts..you are insightful and bright..bet Alice is going to grow up be one hell of a kick ass woman just like her Mom !
    Thanks for sharing~
    kimmyk said...
    I always think I want to be the mom I didn't have for my children. I think it's good they see us make mistakes and how we deal with them....I think it's ok to fall sometimes.

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