I’m back from another visit with my cigar smoking bear…. a poorly bear at that. But we passed the hours talking nonsense…. and testing my gullibility. The trouble is that bear is full of interesting stuff… its just hard to tell what is real and what is not. Sometimes the punchlines are a long time coming.
So I did have to apologise at my absolute refusal to believe that musket shot was ever made by dropping lead great distances inside a tower into water.
Back at home Jane and the boy were mostly Christmas shopping I think… and swimming lessoning.. and craft fairing and all the other things they get up to together. I was told on my arrival home that bedtimes had been adhered to (although appears to have shifted by an hour officially on the tenuous grounds of his having lost a tooth)…. and fun had been had by both. (and plans for the boys next birthday party well under way).
I think to some extent Jane enjoys taking on the mothering roll… and being a second time round parent I don’t insist on standing my ground and defending my maternal autonomy.
I did motherhood, big time, first time round.. with a husband at the time who worked away a lot and very little money my daughters upbringing was rich in time spent with her and low on materialism. We had no tv for much of her childhood and spent hours making homemade Christmas cards… baking… exploring together. In many ways a very old fashioned idealistic rural childhood.
But I guess even though Jane had plenty of solo care of her daughter it was always in the guise of a father doing his best as opposed to a more maternal role…. if you ask the boy she’s even the one who nags him to do things.. and gets cross about daft stuff like pot noodle getting dropped on her best boots 🙂 Definitely mum stuff!
Like the fact that whenever we’ve talked about getting married (or civilly spliced as i guess it’ll be if we do it now).. I’m perfectly happy to hand her the female role of having the wedding she wants… the dress she wants… pretty much whatever she wants (though I will definitely need that shed when [note: not IF] she becomes bridezilla.
I had my wedding first time round… like almost every bride… the wedding I wanted. (red dress.. walk to church… no official photographers… original 1600’s service)
It feels an easy generosity to allow Jane those experiences for herself.
Motherhood…. being a bride….
the rights of passage of a womans life.
I hope we all get something from the times I go away and see my bear. Counterwise there are plenty of times Jane is away networking…working… cavorting with lesbian sexologists and the like and the boy and I kick back… play some computer games.. have tickle fights… all the stuff we do together.
I’m secure in my bond with the boy… I carried him, breastfed him and he runs to me when he’s hurt, talks to me when he’s troubled. I think I can be brave enough to share the mothering. After all parenting never equates to ownership…in the words of Kahil Gabran.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.