I’d like to take a moment to enthusiastically discuss how wonderful four-year-olds are.
I’m sure that it’s written somewhere that you shouldn’t rank Mother’s Day celebrations. Not only because it’s crass but also because it suggests that each year’s events should outdo the last for the express purpose of being more and better instead of being reflective of any true sentiment.
But um, if one were forced to rank them, I would have to admit that I think Mother’s Day 2017 was my favourite yet.
To back up this incredibly bold assertion I think I could basically just post the following picture and be done with it:
I remember reading a great quote many years ago that said you shouldn’t do anything for your children that they were capable of doing for themselves. I loved it, and kept it in mind for when I had my own kids. I’d be the mom whose kids were doing their laundry by age five! Fantastic.
But of course, as is always the case, people without kids make the best parents. When I actually had my own child, things suddenly looked a whole lot different. I found myself dealing with an actual human being, with her own desires and opinions, not the pleasantly compliant child of my imaginings.
I still believe in the message of that quote wholeheartedly (despite the sometimes-problematic nature of parenting “should’s ) but godDAMN is it easier said than done. Beyond lots (and lots) of reminders, there have been a few things I’ve found really help Olive become independent and self-reliant, and a lot of it has to do with how our home is set up.
My marriage split open on November 20, 2014, and I made the decision to end it on December 15, 2014.
I don’t think there’s ever really a good time for this sort of thing to happen, but doing it immediately before such a staggering season of events – Christmas, then my 31st birthday, then New Year’s and then Valentine’s Day – felt like a barrage of punches to the face in quick succession. Bam bam bam bam bam.
That first Christmas, I invited Olive’s dad to spend Christmas day with us. I was in shock and I didn’t know quite what else to do. I was still trying to pretend things were normal, desperate for Olive to hold onto the sense that things were fine, even though I knew they would soon be very, very different.