Dear Reader, it's been a week of back-to-school, fall beginning, and my writing life since I've last written. I've been both lazy (Saturday, choosing to stay in bed all morning and read) as well as productive (much time devoted to my writing).
But now it's time to confess all my sins (there are always many), so let's begin. To the confessional--
I confess I love routine.
I love waking up and knowing where everyone is going and what I'll be doing. I love the extra hours of writing that a child at school brings. I love seeing the leaves beginning to change color and feeling that crispness in the air. Even on sunny days, you can tell summer is waving goodbye and honestly, I've been ready for the last 3 weeks for its stay to be over. Summer, I am breaking up with you.
I confess the thing I like least about back to school night is the other parents. Wait, more specifically, other moms. The dads always seem pretty nice and mostly to be doing their own thing, but some of the moms are so, um, what's the word? Judgmental. Or maybe that's what I am and I'm projecting it on to them. Either way, it's there.
And it's not all the moms, but just enough that I so dislike these social events. Or the pick-up after school.
Sometimes I think, "I am only friends with these people because we had unprotected sex around the same time." Yes, we are only friends because we have kids the same age. (Though I am thankful that I am good friends with the moms of my daughter's best friends and these would be people I would hang out with if we didn't have kids the same age.) But there is a large cast of characters of people I wouldn't necessarily be friends with, but now interact with during the school year because of our kids.
I confess much of my dislike comes from insecurity. If I were to label what I felt the most confident in, "raising a child" would come somewhere after writing, gardening, mountain biking, swing dancing, and sea-kayaking but before cooking.
If I have ever felt unskilled in anything, it's raising a child. There is no handbook, no degree and I've learned by screwing up.
I remember before we had a child, but were thinking about it, I would tell my husband, R. (who has even *less* experience with babies than I did) at family events--"Go practice on that one." Within minutes I'd have a crying nephew or niece, Uncle Rosy was always way too scary to little kids.
The positive of this, is my daughter is rarely freaked out since much of her childhood revolved around a dad trying to scare her. She also knew how to make pancakes at age 3 because her dad taught her since I didn't know how to cook. (Um, yes, even pancakes, though I confess I can make them now).
And I guess these are the things that give me hope, that our flaws as parents can actually improve our children.
But I guess mostly I just try my best, try not to compare myself to others, keep a lot of books, art & creativity in her life, cross my fingers and hope that everything works out. Probably not what's in the child-raising books, but so far, we're okay.