Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mother's lessons (a first of many)

I realized the other day that I’m too quirky for mother’s group.

Okay, you can put whatever adjective you prefer in there. But the truth is, I failed at mother’s club. Badly. The informal meeting was at a local you-pick and I showed up with my double stroller, listened, and made an awkward exit. Few were the moments when I could ask about my dilemma of introducing Spirituals to the babies (I went armed with what I thought was a good question – when/if it is okay to sing Spirituals to your children. This is a dilemma on my mind lately. But I’m usually a better listener than speaker, so when I articulated this it came out wrong. Or perhaps they didn’t understand my question. Or maybe there was no question in there. Just a Russian Nesting Doll conundrum). Or how it is almost heartbreaking how my animal-loving daughter will smile at every living thing – even oil-soaked pelicans on the television? When can she try horseback riding again? “Don’t rush these years! They go by too quickly!” they lectured.

As if I don’t know this. But honestly, is that really a healthy attitude to have? To be exclusively celebratory of babies for their babyness and mourn the transition from infancy to toddlerhood? Maybe yes and maybe no. Is it wrong for me to imagine how Henry and Sophia will want their eggs cooked? Or if they will be able to read sheet music, have aural skills or be completely tone deaf? I don’t think so.

I left with two quarts of fresh berries and a somewhat deflated spirit. By the time we got home I was annoyed and burdened with advice I didn’t ask for. It wasn’t until I looked at Henry and Sophia (as photographed on the couch) that I felt better. They were awake. They were happy. They were attempting to entertain me. And it worked. So I downloaded Eric Clapton’s cover of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and we swayed to it for the rest of the afternoon while eating strawberries so sweet they tasted like earth.

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