Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An unproud motherly moment

Unproud. Is that a word? I think it might be, after TLC made Unpretty a word.

I digress.

Today was the LGBB's swimming lesson. On bundling her into the car, after sprinting in the freezing Antarctic wind which Melbourne has been so good at throwing all winter, I heard the mother behind me who was shoving her daughter into the car next to ours. In tandem, we were struggling with seatbelts, the throes of motherhood, having no choice but to get our asses wet as we stood grappling with buckles... you get the picture.

Anyway, I had an unproud moment. It happened as I heard this mum, obviously at her wits' end with whatever her troubles of the day had brought to her, let fly on her pre-teen. And I, in all my "nobody has seen me lose my cool today" prowess, felt a sort of smugness creep in. I sympathised. I instantly recognised the frustration in her voice. I felt drawn to her, mother to mother... parent to parent. And yet, in a cowardly fashion, I allowed myself to feel justified.

There is no denying, it is a tough gig. Being a parent. I often wonder if I am supposed to be something of a super-human being, someone who doesn't ever lose her shit. Because surely, she knows what she is missing out on, her eldest (dead) child a blaring reminder of all that is sacred and filled with wonder and meaning. But I hold these two realities - for that is what they are - equally. If anyone was looking for a hero in me, they are not likely to find it.

Today, I felt glad that I heard someone become a spitfire at their child. Because it made my moments feel more justified. And I ask myself..... is that wrong? Or okay? I want to say no. But I have oh so long a ways to go before I live up to my own high bar.

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