“…what she gave instead was her own DNA, her own boho mama-in-the-black-stockings self, and she trusted that this would be enough.” Lisa Jones, Bulletproof Diva
Five months ago, one of my dance sisters approached me via social media inbox. An outspoken woman, she prefaced her comments by saying she likes to say things directly to folks. What followed was a discussion about my relationship to M. The conversation truly touched me. It not only made my day, a typical busy weekday at work (which has provided endless writing material, nuff said!), but it helped me reflect on my motherhood for weeks and even months. How unlikely and yet so necessary that I had the opportunity to do so.
Motherhood happens. My choice to have M and the million choices I have made in raising her have sometimes been unconventional and non-traditional, but never irreverent or irresponsible. Because while parenting is intuitive and flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants spontaneous, it is also a huge undertaking. It is THE big deal. No amount of writing and talking about tiger moms or helicopter moms or free range moms or any combination of these can change the fact that motherhood and fatherhood matter. Yes, I don’t often plan how situations will play out; I can’t. My seven-year-old has been her own person for as long as she could speak and stand up on her own; basically I’ve been dealing with this independent-minded individual since she was 10 months old. Every day I am learning something new about her, about myself, and about the world through our relationship. When I get a rare opportunity to really think, reflect, and plan for our relationship, I take it and revel in it.
About a month and a half ago, one of my closest friends asked to interview me as part of her women’s studies project. She had decided to focus on the parenting choices of the children of immigrants. We enjoyed a deep discussion on motherhood. I wasn’t discussing writing or dance or education and yet all these folded into the conversation. That is how my experience as a mother has evolved. M experiences the vast majority of my experiences with friends, culture, food, and the arts. What we miss from traditional play dates, I hope is more than made up for in making memories.
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