I’m taking a few detours before posting about my experience at an arts colony in Vermont. ( I know. I’m kind of roundabout when it comes to telling stories. Walk with me a while longer, won’t you…) But today, someone sent me this op-ed piece, “The Passion of Parenting” by New York Times columnist, Charles M. Blow via e-mail. I completely relate to his reflections. The piece made me remember a post I put up on the blog I began when Big Man was not quite three months old. Happy to say that my worries about being a “pathetic, clingy type of mama” are greatly diminished. My two weeks alone on creative retreat was a measure that I took to help this along. In many ways it was painful for me as a mother that came with a measure of guilt and tears, but was a “for our own good” kind of investment that will, I’m sure, pay off in the long run. Anyhow. Here’s the old post accompanied by two throw-back photos.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
HOLDING ON, LETTING GO
I do see my son as the baby that I’m presently responsible for caring for. I am also looking down the road and sending a “prayer covering” to ensure that he becomes a make-it-happen kind of man of vision, confidence, love and humility. I want him to explore both the outer world and the interior of his own mind and soul. Already, my baby boy is well on his way.
As so many made sure to remind me during pregnancy and just after his birth, he’s growing so fast! I love to see how strong, determined and alert he is. Always has been. Just that now he’s getting coordinated enough to show it. As amazed and proud as I am to see him blossom– can I be real?– I hope that the man that he becomes has the same care and concern for his mama as his mama does for him. So, looks like I have the potential to be one of those clingy, pathetic types of mamas. God help us both!
I was watching a program on The Learning Channel last night where a 30-something woman and her silver-haired husband were playing with their infant and marveling at how big he’d gotten in such a short time. This made the woman want to have another baby. I know that feeling. Most women know that tugging kind of urge that starts in some nether-region of the brain and tugs on the heart strings and the fallopian tubes and comes when they see a pregnant woman or a young woman with a trail of young’uns traipsing behind. But even if one has twenty children, at some point all of them are going to grow. And go. What this speaks to is the need for us as parents, as humans, as developing souls to work on lessening our urge to cling, dealing with our fears of being alone. But when we get caught up on our spiritual work we’re supposed to discover that we’re never really alone, right?
So, now: How can we both nurture and resist our urge to be overprotective, encourage our children to honor their roots, origins and family and yet encourage step confidently out into the world? How do we help them to find their way to the wellspring of power within and gain a sense of community responsibility and inter-dependence?
Here’s what one woman has to say:
So The Torah Is a Parenting Guide?