There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you’d be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature.
Before I had children I had always imagined that I would be the mom of boys. I was always more comfortable with boys and loved to be active – in those long ago days I was what people called a “tomboy”. It was hard to imagine myself the mom of girls as I did not like to do what most girls did. I did not play with dolls, I did not wear dresses (at least until I was forced to), and I did not know how to braid or curl or do anything with my hair. Since I felt I knew so little about girls the prospect of raising girls was terrifying.
Well, the universe works in some interesting ways and usually knows what is best for us as you can tell by the fact that I am the mom of three daughters! Which, by the way, I would not trade for anything in the world. The universe realized that there were many things I needed to learn about girls and thus daughters it was! Besides giving me three daughters I also have three daughters who have three very distinct personalities. So,not only did I need to learn how to parent daughters I had to learn how to parent in three completely different ways. I had to learn to be the parent that each of my children needed, as Ayelet Waldman reminds us today.
It is one thing to imagine what kind of parent you will be, it is another to step up to the plate and be the parent your child needs. It is not always easy, there are many bumps in the road and mistakes that happen but seeing my daughters today makes it all worth it. I may not have imagined myself the mother of girls but now I can’t imagine being anything but. My daughters have taught me so much and for that I will be forever grateful.
So…it is great to dream and imagine what kind of parent you will be. Remember though, to come back to the reality of learning how to be the parent your child needs. It might not be what you expected but I am sure it will be what you need.
Have some fun today!