There are a number of things I thoroughly enjoy about being a parent. Many of them I have the pleasure of being able to share here, with our readers.
Among my ‘favorite’ things in the way of living with children, would be their innate ability to point things out which adults may give little thought to. I am of the belief that children not only pay attention, but understand much more than adults give them credit for.
Of my two children, the five-year-old possesses the more ‘bold’ personality where as the eight-year-old is much more ‘diplomatic.’ It’s a good balance and like most children they both keep me on my toes, as well as pondering much thought.
Most recently it came in the way of my five-year-old pointing out that she felt that I ‘text too much.’
This observation came in the wee hours of the morning, prior to the normal time my children are to rise. My daughter had awakened early and thus climbed into bed with me for a bit of ‘rest.’ Truthfully, these wee hours are when many of my mommy friends and I not only touch base, but help each other through pressing problems. Often times we have little time to think through our deepest thoughts and the beauty of texting is multi fold.
Texts can be sent while the other is still sleeping, the children are not able to overhear what is plaguing us and it’s a bit of ‘journal therapy’ as it helps us work through our stream of consciousness. Often times reading back our own words becomes not only therapeutic, but helps us see the obvious.
Ironically, just earlier that same week I had thought how grateful I was for this texting tool. On this particular day in the span of 15 minutes, I was able to coordinate help for my son’s Pine Wood Derby car, help a friend register for an upcoming race, notify another friend that I would be dropping off a few hand-me-downs and confirm plans with another friend for later that week.
My mother taught me a number of things as a child which helped prepare me for my own journey. I think back to my childhood often when in circumstances with my own children. Admittedly we are completely different in the way of how we parent. Yes, I saw the movie “Parental Guidance” and identified with much of it.
Perhaps the greatest gift or lesson I gained from my mother is not allowing myself to live with ‘mommy guilt.’ Certainly, there were critical times in my younger years which prompted those natural emotions in my mother.
The one which I remember most would be the discovery of my Epilepsy at the age of 13. This curveball did indeed alter our journey, but it also provided a number of lessons for not only the two of us but our entire family. In the end we all came out better for the experience and like with anything … life did indeed go on.
As I grew older, however and parenting comparisons would arise my mother was always quick to state, “We did the best we knew how.” Honestly, who could ask for more than that? Certainly not this child turned adult. In my own somewhat humble opinion, I like to think I had a pretty amazing childhood.
Sure, my mother did not have the luxury (or task) of texting. No, she had the telephone and it was plugged into the wall just at the base of our stairs. This is where you would find her for hours every Saturday morning as she would catch up with my aunt who lived three towns away. Naturally we would see my aunt and the rest of the family the very next day and then the two of them would sit in the kitchen or out under the sun and continue to talk for several more hours.
It’s just the way it was. Of course we all joked about it, even as kids. Often times I would sit beside my mother on the couch interjecting things I felt she needed to add to the story. This never lasted long, as I was always chased off to my room to ‘listen to music or play’ and I always did exactly that.
So, where am I going with this? I feel no guilt or excess in texting my girlfriends, more affectionately known as my ‘Tribe’ or my ‘Village.’ Our calendars rival the most successful of CEO’s for our families. We make no complaints about it and carry on as it is our duty as ‘mommies’. This however does not mean we are void of being human and needing opportunity to vent or share silliness with one another. At the core of it we are simply girls who turned into women and that will never completely leave us.
It does however mean that I will be mindful of the times in which I choose to correspond with my ‘girls’ or ‘boys’ in some cases. My children serve as a great mirror on many levels and just like Snow White, I have much to learn from that mirror on the wall, as well as my two dwarfs.
Teresa Hammond is circulation manager for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.