Tuesday, December 4, 2012


When ARG was born, I held him and cried while listening to Tchaikovsky's Pas de Duex for the first time. I cried because of the intense beauty of the song, and for me it represented all of the joy and beauty my child would experience in his life. I also cried because I knew with certainty that he would also feel pain and sorrow in life. But mostly I cried because I knew I would not, could not, be a perfect mother, and that I would hurt him, and share my flaws with him.

Well, I was right. Probably one of the most uncomfortable parts of watching my kids grow, has been seeing my flaws and "issues" emerge in them. Of course I tried my best to shield them, to be a "better person" for them. For a while when they were little, cuddly, huggy balls of love I even forgot about many of my difficulties, being so wrapped up in them. But as they grow older, I am often irked or upset to see one of them acting out in a way that mirrors my own imperfections. It's pretty hard to not feel guilty about it.

A questioning, critical way of looking at the world has served me well, but has sometimes led me to feel dissatisfied - because nothing is perfect. I am sad when I see this in my kids, because I only want them to be happy. A desire to get to the truth is admirable, right? But the flip side is a self-righteousness, superior attitude. I didn't become aware that I might be that way, until I saw it in one of my darlings. Bucking the "normal" way of doing things, being a bit of a rebel has been a lifelong habit with me. I've been mostly OK with it, but I see now that that outlook has sometimes put my kids into isolated, challenging positions. Worst, I tend toward a depressive and anxious personality, and I'm telling you it is a bummer to see your beloved children suffer the same feelings.

To be fair, my kids also got some awesome parts of me. My sense of humor, my independence of thought and action, my geekiness. There are probably other things, but that would be bragging. And of course, each one of them is mostly his or her own person - not just replicas of my trials and triumphs. This is made obvious by how incredibly different they are from each other.

Still, seeing one of them act lame or feel unhappy in the same way I do, is a bitter pill for this mom to swallow.