My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I’m not that mom

summertime meeting 006

Yesterday was Savannah’s synchronized swimming meet.  She did great, and I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures.  (This is an old one.)  The meet was in Tucson, so we spent Friday night at my mom’s house.

At 6:30 am I woke Savannah up to get ready, and she came to the realization that she had forgotten BOTH OF HER SWIMSUITS!  We had a moment of panic, but decided to just hope that some teammate would have suits she could borrow.

We were in luck.  One friend had an extra black suit, and another girl loaned her a freezing, wet warm-up suit when she wasn’t using it.

For a minute I wished that I was the mom who packed her daughter’s bag for her.  I wished I had gone over the check-list personally, and planned ahead for “what-ifs.” 

There were a lot of lucky girls there who had moms like that.  They had plenty of fresh, dry towels.  They had sweat pants when it was cold in the morning, and sunscreen for later in the day.  They had extra bobby pins, nose-clips, and make-up.

I wished it for a minute, and then I realized: that’s not what I believe in.   I believe in letting my kids do for themselves as much as they can.  I believe in giving them responsibilities, and letting them learn from their own consequences.  (I don’t think Savannah will ever forget her swimsuits again!)

I watched as some of those lucky girls were getting their hair done by there generous mothers.  Most of them didn’t appreciate the sacrifices their moms had made.  Instead of “ Thanks, mom, for spending your whole day here trying to help me,”  I heard things like “Ouch! Stop poking me!”  To Savannah’s credit, she was nothing but nice and appreciative of everything I did.

That day reconfirmed to me the value of letting my kids learn to take care of themselves.  I may not be making their lives super easy for them right now, but I hope that the gift I am giving will be even more valuable.  As they learn responsibility, they also gain confidence in themselves and gratitude for the sacrifices of others.

At least that’s how I see it working in my mind. 


  1. I needed this post.
    I do way too much for the twins!

  2. YEAH for good old fashioned parenting. Works almost all of the time!!!!!