Calamity Jennye

Monday, November 7, 2011

A woman who stands for nothing will fall...

"When you're a kid you go down the road you go down. You don't get to choose. You emulate what you see. And you learn what you stand for... and what you'll fall for."

This is my biggest fear. That my daughter, like all of us is being tossed down a road not of her choosing. A road that will teach her to tolerate the intolerable and stand for things no woman should ever choose. I worry that instead of having distinct experiences of things she wants to stand for vs. things she will fall for. That those experiences will instead be so inextricable that as an adult she will think she's standing upright, tall and proud. Simply to wonder moments later what it was that knocked her out.

Like any mom I worry about my own issues being ones my daughter also will not easily overcome. When I think about how we all want our children's lives to be easier than our own I don't think about money, or ipads or organic food. I think about the simultaneous love of two parents, the knowledge that you are good enough, smart enough and gosh darn-it people like you.

I've spent the week composing an e mail in response to a particularly vicious one from my husband. He leaves me constantly questioning myself, the experience I know to be reality. He, more than anyone I know can construct alternate realities from the shifting sand beneath him. It is more than enough to leave anyone wondering where the sanity lies and I find it takes every ounce of my being to not get sucked in, to not be completely overwhelmed by the anger and insecurity of it all.

Because that's the real secret. If he can make his enemies more angry and more insecure than he is then he wins.
And that is my biggest fear. Raising a daughter who is so angry, and so insecure that she can never be sure who she actually is. I don't care who, or what Esme grows up to be. As long as she is a genuine creature who continues to care about the well-being of others. She can grow up to be Oscar the Grouch or Ariel for all I care. I just want her to care, about everything and be engaged enough in things outside herself that she can be healthy. Even Oscar had friends he cared about.

And that brings us full circle back to the episode of Parenthood that spawned that quote. Some of us are more healthy than we ever will be again, at  4, or at 16. For some of us it takes a lifetime. How do you begin to know when, where, how you are healthy? And how do you claim that, retain it and move forward through the rest of your life? How do you help your children do the same? Eternal questions.

This is one where I would love thoughts...What makes you healthy? Whole? How do you raise your children to be the people you want running the world?

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