2010 is about to come to an end. I have been following several bloggers who have been participating in a series of prompts through the month of December encouraging discussion on such things like what you might have learned during the year, what picture of you taken during the year most defines you, how you have grown over the course of the year, how you hope to grow in the new year, etc.
I am glad I didn't participate. Not only do I not have the time, I can never answer questions like those. Too much pressure, I guess. I can't even decide what the name of my first pet was for a security question. Was it the pet I had when I was a baby but don't remember? The first pet I do remember that we got when I was two? The first pet I had as an adult? And if the latter, should it be when I was in college or married? See. I'm a mess.
But I did want to look back a little bit and think about who I was and where I was at the beginning of the year.
Truth is, I was struggling. My dad had just died and I had just come home from being with my mom and sister for a month. I was home with Little G by myself for the first time in a while and I was truly struggling. Interestingly, I don't remember exactly HOW I was struggling...I just remember I was.
As I look back over the year, I can not pin point a moment where things changed or when I thought things were going to be ok...but somehow I have arrived here...almost a year later...and things are going to be ok.
One of my greatest fears of having another child is not that I won't be able to handle the logistics of it or that I won't have enough love for it - but I am scared of the emotional aftermath. I never wrote down the things I was feeling about Little G when I was feeling them because I was afraid that if, God forbid, anything were to ever happen to him, someone would look up whatever I had said in desperation one day on my blog and take it out of context and who knows what might happen. Maybe someone would toss me in a looney bin...maybe someone would take away Little G.
But on the other side of the abyss I am realizing that perhaps it is important to write those things down so that should I ever feel that way again, I can recognise it and seek out help.
I read on a friend's blog that she didn't believe that motherhood was the hardest job in the world. I beg to differ. I know I'm not fighting wars. I know I'm not in charge of a whole country. I know I'm not doing excruciatingly heavy lifting. I know I have it pretty cushy. But I totally believe that having a child is like taking a piece of your heart out of your body and watching it walk around and grow and become its own person. To me THAT IS the hardest job in the world. There is no boss to give me guidance or feedback. There is no win at the end - once a mother, there is no age that you stop wanting the best for your kids. Sometimes it feels like I am on my own.
But just as it is the hardest job in the world, I also think it is the most rewarding. In no other job can we directly influence a person in the hope of that person growing up someday and hopefully changing the world for the better. With all of the pressure that comes with that statement comes the grace of hope.
I look back on the year 2010 and I see that I am imperfect and that it is ok. That I hold myself up to a higher standard than I would EVER hold up any of my friends and family to and it is ok to to lower the bar a little bit. Heck, it's ok to fail miserably.
I look back on the year 2010 and I know that while it is not the year I became a mother, it is the year I learned, and believed, I am a good mother.
What have you learned this year?