Today I was part of the mothers day celebrations as a mother for the first time. I realised earlier this week I would be, only because I asked why it is not my turn to take Cass to school on Friday and she and Leon said they must go shopping. My gift was beautiful, but Cass actually gave me a bigger gift the night before, one that had me in tears. We went to Bon Jovi, and she found some of her school friends who we agreed then she can spend the night with. 10 minutes after Bon Jovi came on stage she popped into our circle and said she missed us too much and decided she’d rather be with us for the night. It was the first time I truly believed that I am creating a bond that is meaningful and loving with this young girl. Last night I truly started believing that she is our daughter, and not just the girl we’re looking after. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been saying ‘my daughter’ since the first week we took her in, but now I know it.
I am still feeling like a square peg in a round hole in the mothers day celebrations. I don’t feel like I have graduated into parenthood. Even though everyone we speak to says we’re taking a much harder path than those who have their own children. It could be because I believe that pregnancy would sacrifice of a part of my life I’m not ready to sacrifice – my sport. I also consider parents of newborns a lot more courageous than we are. A whole bunch of months with very little sleep and a lot more sacrifice of your time. Maybe it is because I feel like a child in my mind still, and some days I don’t believe that I’m close to mature enough to be responsible for a child. Maybe it is because I don’t trust the mother in me yet.
I am constantly questioning my parenting ability. I know we will give her a much better environment than she had, but will it be a better life for her? If I am true to my theoretical approach of good vs bad, right vs wrong, I know I shouldn’t call it better or worse, just different. But will this different environment take her on a path where she will be more than she would have been without us. Am I saying the right things, am I spending enough time with her doing the right things? Am I too strict? Am I standing my ground when I should and being more flexible when the situation calls for it? Leon found a saying – children are like a beautiful glass. Some parents leave smudge marks, some parents crack it, others break the glass. Will I be good enough to just leave smudges?
What I am realising as I write is that I cannot choose her life for her. I can however teach her an approach to life. I can teach her to not go through life blindly, but with every choice she makes, to make it in full awareness that there will be consequences – good or bad. Sometimes we know the exact consequence, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we try and predict a consequence, but we can’t always say what others will do. We can choose whether we are acting according to our own values and beliefs, having integrity and being true to ourselves. Or we can act the way society expects us to and be mediocre.
Having written tonight’s blog I realise that even though I don’t feel like a mother, I do have the awareness to do the best thing with what I know at each moment in time. Am I good enough? I am as good as I can be today. Will I get things wrong? Of course I will. Will I smudge, crack or shatter Cassidy? I will do my best to only smudge her, but I do believe that in becoming a better me, I will be better for her too.
Happy mothers day!