Thursday, August 21, 2008

One Mother's Hope

Welcome to my blog, a public diary chronicling the joys and frustrations of writing for a living, and a few points of interest along my life's meandering journey.

I write inspirational stories about relationships that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories in which the reader might find hope, guidance, rekindled affection and a reason to smile.

Please visit www.gregoryelang.com and click the red corner on the home page just beneath the “Projects” tab to learn more about what projects I may be working on.

NOTE: The deadline to offer a mother-daughter story for “Mom’s Little Angel” has passed. Please continue to visit this blog for updates on the book as it begins the last leg of its journey toward publication (Spring, 2009).

Now on to today’s post~

Another touching essay from a loving mother:

One day not too long ago my daughter found me watching a cooking show. She immediately began asking questions and I found myself giving explanations about what cooking shows are. Interested, she settled down on the couch next to me and together we learned how to make old-fashioned cupcakes. During the episode she peppered me with probing questions and comments about the chef, ingredients, utensils, in short, everything. It was a wonderful 30 minutes to share with her; we watch at least one cooking show a day now. I love our new mother/daughter activity and I have to smile when I hear "Mom, maybe tomorrow we could make those chocolate cupcakes. Does that sound like a good idea? Does it?" I cherish these small reminders of her youth. She is growing up so quickly, I would be foolish not to treasure them.

Everyday she comes up with something new which endears, entertains, and often shocks me. "Look Mom," she says while examining her new baby brother, "His head is smaller than my head, and my head is smaller than your head". That's the thing about her observations. They're all very accurate in that innocent yet brutally honest way that childhood observations are. I love the way she looks at the world. Simply put, she is my reality check. She critiques me in my role as mother everyday. I never allow myself to be offended by her criticism. She is the one person who can give me a completely honest review without hurting my feelings. Now keep in mind that she's not quite four years old, but so far so good. Of course, not every moment with her is warm and glowing. There are plenty of "bad days" between us too. That's probably one of the reasons why I enjoy our "cooking shows" so much.

"Why are you being so grumpy?" I asked her once. I don't really expect an answer. I had forgotten, however, that my little lady has an answer for everything. "Because Mom, I didn't get enough sleep last night." she replies without missing a beat. I wonder if she is really tired or if she is just repeating something she has heard me say. The scary part about being her mother is that she takes in EVERYTHING I say and it often pops up when I least expect it. At times it's funny, but it also makes me nervous. Am I living up to her expectations? What are her expectations? Does she even have expectations at her age?

At least a few of my questions were answered the day we had our first real heart to heart talk. We'd been butting heads an awful lot throughout the day and I finally got upset enough with her to put her in time out. Later I came back and took her in my arms (I find a great big hug helps us both calm down). I told her I was sorry I had gotten so upset, but I was frustrated by her behavior. I told her I knew she was a very sweet girl and it made me sad when she didn't obey.

She stared blankly ahead while I spoke and I was pretty sure my words were going in one ear and out the other. But then she turned her sweet face to me and said, "Mom, I try really, really, hard everyday to be a nice girl. I want to be good, but sometimes it's just sooooo hard to be nice.”

What could I do but agree with her. I told her I understood and sometimes feel the same way. Some days it is just too hard to be nice. When she says things like this I am reminded that despite her age she is a real person with real trials. She is struggling to figure out what to make of this world of rules and regulations just as I am trying to figure out how to teach her about them.

I have to say that this little girl definitely has a bit of me in her. It is wonderful and maddening to see those pieces of myself when they surface. I know the traits we share will bring her much joy. Unfortunately, I also foresee that they will bring her pain. Of course as her mother I wish I could spare her the painful parts of life. I know that I can't, and that's the most heart-breaking part of motherhood. I can, however, tell her how much I love her. I can make sure she knows that my love is unconditional, and that I will be there for her through it all. She is so sincere and genuine, and is constantly trying to please me. Even in the days when she acts up I can tell that deep down she really just wants my approval. This sincere desire to please reminds me to be grateful for each day with her.

To sum it all up, I love being a Mother. I love being HER mother. I love this girl. Some days she is such a challenge. Some days she wears me thin, almost to the breaking point. Some days I do break, but oh how my heart flows with love for her. After all, isn't it tradition for mothers and daughters to love each other unimaginably but also drive each other absolutely crazy? If so I am proud to be following in the footsteps of generations of mothers and daughters and all the joys and difficulties that go along with this complex relationship. My one great hope is that someday, when "all is said and done," we have learned to love and value each other in spite of it all.

Thank you, Jacie, for such a sweet story.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg;
Adults almost always underestimate the Inteligence of children, this mother doesn,t.
This short story told by a MOM should be inspiring to many of your readers. I don't think you really understand the good you are doing in this world just with your blog, let alone the books you have and will have written. I hope your book sales will allow you to continue.
Dick W.