Don’t you hate it when your head runs away with you? I’ve been finding myself randomly awake in the middle of the night for an hour or more, running through holiday lists: who gets cards, who gets gifts, when do we get paid and what bills need to come out of those checks and how much do we have extra for Xmas stuff. I kind of hate it when I get this way. It’s going to be a lean Xmas this year, but that’s absolutely OK. I mainly just want my kids to be happy. Giving them the gift of magical holiday memories is a top priority for me.
(I just had a great idea for people like friends and colleagues, and I wish I had thought of it a month ago: rather than buying gifts for each other, why not batch-cook food, freeze it, and have a swap? It’s like having a group of people take turns making your lunch for a week or so. Dammit. Maybe next year.)
I’ve also been worrying about my kids. It’s that generalized parental worry, wondering if you’re doing enough or too much. Stella’s doing so well academically, but socially I worry. Am I arranging enough play dates? Am I finding enough activities to help her develop her non-academic interests? And I disagree vehemently with first graders having homework almost every night, yet I become Tiger Mom snapping at her to “pay attention” and “finish your work before you play a computer game” after school. Is she going to despise me for that one day?
And Felix? Is he developing “normally?” I have no idea, despite the fact that he’s my 2nd child and I should be a “pro.” He refuses to learn the alphabet – just isn’t interested. I suspect he knows more than he lets on, but what do I know? By his age, Stella was reading. Then I kick myself for comparing them. Obviously her development was not typical. But what if Felix isn’t as clever as I think he is? What if he can’t get into kindergarten (yes, in 2 years because mommy is psycho) because he can’t pass the entrance exam in which he’ll have to demonstrate that he knows his ABCs? And this new game where he likes to come up to people – often me – and hiss and scratch like a cat…what if he claws up some kid at school? I’m not ready for a “your kid is showing antisocial behavior” discussion.
Clearly I’ve lost my damn mind. Sure, having children will warp your brain – the noise, the arguing, the noise, the school obligations, the noise, the doctors’ appointments, the noise. My kid brother has a 2 year old little girl – my niece – as well as operates 2 successful boutiques. He somehow finds time to do stuff like go to gyms, read books, argue politics and philosophy. I think he must have that magic pendant that Hermione Granger had in Harry Potter – the one which allowed her to go back and forth in time in order to take a zillion classes. I otherwise don’t see how he can do all that. It’s all I can do some days to make sure my kids are fed.
Pressure. It’s a lot. And now all over Facebook I see where I should be talking to my children about treatment of women and how my son needs to be taught not to objectify them. Sorry. I kinda thought that was a given if you were a conscientious parent. It didn’t necessarily require a special dissertation. But apparently I may be wrong. I’m probably wrong about a lot.
I guess I can only hope that my best will be good enough – that whatever mistakes I make along the way won’t be terminal. That my kids won’t be assholes and will achieve whatever academic and professional successes they decide they desire. That they will remember that their mom really tried, tried to give them magic when it counted.