When I read Maggie Lamond Simone’s post last week I startled the dog by snorting out loud. It was so spot on, the humbling realization that she’s become her own mother when it comes to mothering. I’ve had the self-same realization numerous times over the past few months. My girl is growing fast and at times, furiously, staggering from the changes as she goes through puberty. She slams her door, I shout. We’re on a journey lots of my friends and their kids are taking too (much to my relief. Misery loves company).
My mom died before I had children, before I was even pregnant, actually. I’ve never been able to call her up so she can laugh about the latest parenting milestones I’ve reached. That’s been a huge drag many times; mostly because she deserves a huge fat thank you that I had no idea would be so justified.
Mom had a great piece of wisdom about parents and children that I’ve been thinking about lately. She felt it was important for me to have adults other than her to trust and confide in. She was that person for a friend’s daughter. She had no expectations around homework or house chores. She was the ears and heart her young friend needed.
So Mom had no problem with me confiding in the woman I babysat for, a nurse whose husband rode a motorcycle- far cooler than my parents. They were somewhat younger and totally separate from my life at school and home. They even lived in a different neighbourhood. They were lovely, funny people who treated me like the in-between creature that I was. Not a kid- I was looking after their sweet kid, for goodness sake. But full of worries and questions because I was not yet an adult. They teased me about crushes and didn’t get beefed when I ate all the cookies in the jar.
I have a couple of friends who would be wonderful for my girl that way. They’ve known her since she was a baby, but they have the luxury of arm’s length because they’re not family. And they are waaay hipper than me. We share beliefs around sex education, so if that ever comes up, my girl’s on good ground with them.
We are moving through, my girl and I. I want her to have support and good knowledge of sexual health, confidence in her own sexuality, and joy as her life unfolds. She’s an amazing kid, and I feel grateful she has loving adults besides her parents who are part of her life.
Photo: Kakisky, MorgueFile
Youshouldknow.ca: sexual health news, views and science for women in perimenopause and beyond. Find info on preventing sexually transmitted infections, aging considerations, and relationship dynamics. Supportive information for all of us as we move into our middle years with partners new and old.
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