One response to “The Other Mother”

  1. debra

    this was well-timed for me, stacy! what happened today took no thought, but it got me thinking: we have coop every week with 9 other families who homeschool, and i had witnessed stress, during the morning, in one of the families with 2 young daughters and a newborn. the 4 year old wanted to do things her way and in her own time and after asking and asking and being firm with her, i could see the mom’s exasperation growing, to the point of “fine, we’re leaving” and just hoping the girl would follow to the car. we all reconvene at a nearby park, and after a couple hours of playing there, it was time for the family to leave for an appointment, and again the girl resisted (loudly! physically! heels dug waaaay in!). i knew the mom was feeling anxious about the appointment, probably tired from the day, and if it were me (!), she’d be low on inner resources by about then, and i was happy to see an opportunity to run over, playfully talk the girl into getting a ride on my back, and jog down the soccer field to catch up with the rest of the family. mom had just started to walk back towards the playground with a familiar stalk (in MY body that walk says “i have HAD it!!!”) and we didn’t make eye-contact, but just walked together with the kids to the car, where i deposited her giggling daughter in the carseat, buckled her in and waved them goodbye. what pleased me about this situation was that i need that person to put a smile on my daughters’ faces in a moment of potential stress and crisis about 20 times a day, and it felt a little healing to have relieved a small amount of stress for someone else…of course, she wasn’t a stranger, so it was so much easier, knowing she wouldn’t take my action as anything other than an urge to help out. now, i wish that i felt more open to that kind of help myself – i often feel embarrassed and inadequate when i sense someone trying to fill whatever gap is happening in the communication between my girls and myself…something for me to think on a bit…

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