04 April 2012

I put the two baby photos I had of the girls in the bathroom, and it made me feel a lot better about the situation of them living not here, living away.

I'm glad I did it, and it couldn't have worked out any better. Both photos are of the girls around 1 year of age. The one with my oldest was taken backstage of a band concert in college. The one of my youngest is of her smashing her first birthday cake, the mess covering every inch of her chubby little legs, arms, and face while sitting in her high chair.

One is a magnet that adheres to the metal outlet cover on the left-facing wall. The other is a ceramic frame that sits just below the magnet on the counter.

I wasn't exactly thinking about those details or of how the arrangement of the photos in the bathroom would actually serve to soothe my aching heart, but they did exactly that. I look at those babies and remember the most important thing. I remember something that can never be taken away from me or from them. Something which will ensure the bond that each girl and I have enriched upon since their births. It is the fact that I am the one who gave birth to them.

Why I have stupid fears and doubts about that bond diminishing: comparison. Comparison to how I grew up, which I see as always having both parents in the house. Comparison to a quick glance of the mothers of their friends, who live in their homes with them. Assumptions and facts and probabilities in my brain which include statistics of adults who are dysfunctional because their mothers were not involved in their lives, the significant difference it makes to have the mother in the home during the most critical years of a child's development (the teen years), and the entire stigma of being the mother who does not live in the children's home.

Parenting books, magazines, articles, and an abundance of scientific as well as theoretical garbage on the world wide junkyard are primarily written with the assumption that the mother is in the home--and--the one reading the book.

There is a LOT of material--situations, comparisons, generalizations, and/or assumptions--out there enough to help a mother flog herself verily.

But here is why I keep from spinning out: I remember that my parents were awful together. I don't know if or how I would have dealt with my mom being out of the house had they separated then and she had been the one to choose another domicile. But I do know a lot of divorced/divorcing people who work it out. And I never chose anything over my girls. My choice to live without them was only a secondary consequence to choosing to support them going with their hearts. Which meant them wanting to live with Dad, who is a good, kind, loving father.

You never know what other people are going through. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Those other mothers who are still living their children's homes who even seem like the primary caregivers and perfectly put-together women still have their own misgivings and go about their business, which may or may not be working against or for their own child's well-being. And. They still share the responsibility with their husband.

In the case of mothers who are primary care-givers who are divorced or separated still have to share custody with the father.

And, as I am finding and gathering pieces of other mothers' stories, not all mothers are the primary caregivers, even in the case of loving mothers, because of the way things panned out between parents and children.

Why else: Not all mothers are totally clued into their child's well-being, their spiritual development, and yet there still exists a bond between mother and child.

Even mothers who don't deserve to be called moms are bonded to their children, if for no other reason than being the person who labored to bring them into the world. Even the most deeply disturbed kinds of people who conduct their lives out of issues stemming from their mother still have that bond.

This is nothing like that. I have been engaged with them and their lives since before they were born, which I contribute to having outstanding morals and ever-growing faith, instilled into me by my parents from birth. I have realized that my ardent desire to have them with me because I am their mother and no one can love them like me blocked me from relenting to seeing that I could rely on the good man and father that my ex is.

There aren't a lot of single mothers who can rely on the father of her children, even when she wants to. But I can. Even though it is humiliating as hell to realize, even though they are there and not here, my reliance upon higher powers has brought me to an acceptance that is able to override a very easy place to spin out: what I'm doing with my life.

Finally: I believe with such depth and founded concreteness that the One who loves us and died for us has seen fit to show me these things, in this way, with such clarity because of His grace, on which my reliance depends. He has blessed me with beautiful, clear, understanding daughters. He has blessed me with the thoughts that have turned, realizing my reliance upon His Aid, into sheerly clear and full understanding of my pain of living without my girls. He has blessed me and surrounded me with the presence of His Spirit through the love and support of others--my family, my friends, my real reality.

So when I see those pictures, I feel better. That is my reality. I see them every day, many times a day, whether I'm thinking about other things or I'm thinking about them. The pain in my heart for their absence is never far, but putting those photos in a place where I spend time doing one of my favorite things--putting on makeup--I see them right there with me. And in that instant, for every instance there is, I think of my two, very bright, very beautiful adolescent teen and pre-teen, what they are doing, knowing they are happy, knowing that they have been accepting of their new world. And it quells the need to call my girls my babies all the time, lest I become a mother who cannot grow herself.

The edifying bottom line: I am none of those and conversely, none of those people or two situations are alike. My situation is my own, my arrangement and my relationship with my daughters is individual. I am grateful and I am thankful.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please post your comment