In the beginning
I have been wondering lately, how in the world did I turn out so, well, open to alternative things. And I am. There are a lot of people I know that under no amount of evidence will change their position. Even though some, I am sure, feel my views are quite rigid, I am the person that used to hope to be on one of the lucky women who get epidurals, had my career all planned and thought of full time moms as a bit of a funny bunch with no aspirations, homeschoolers were those weird religious people with long hair and funny clothes, I have tried crying it out approach with my first daughter (which has left a wound in my heart at the present) and so on and so on. Look at me now, unable to change, is definitely not one thing I can be accused of.
If I do believe that what I am doing for my kids will make a difference in their future lives and the way they approach and experience the world, then there must be an explanation for why I am the way I am.
I grew up with my mom and her only.
Ever since I formed my own world and mind, my mom and I have had a hard time keeping the relationship going. She has turned from this groundbreaking woman, of my childhood, to quite a backward conservative older woman. This is not the point, though, remember? I am tryng to figure out how in the world did I turn out the way I am. And part of the answer is in that sentence before – the groundbreaking woman that was my mother, even though lately I have only looked at her the way I see her now. But it was not always like that.
Few quick memories from way back:
When I was in kindy, about 5-6 years old, I would go to childcare just around the block, as she had to work to bring the money. I hated sleeping there for my midday nap. So she spoke with the old ladies at the center and gave me a key to the apartment. Since I was too young and weak to use it, I had a long nail next to the door. I would slide the key in and then the nail through the hole of the key and use it as a leverage to open the door. So after lunch I was free to walk to my place and spend the afternoon at peace doing my own thing. Latchkey kid for sure, but also a child with rights, a child whos feelings are listened too and respected.
When school started giving us grades in 4th grade, she was quite pushy and anything bellow excellent was met with horror and looong conversations about how I should not be satisfied with being anything less than the best. That brought about a wound on the lining of my stomach and months of healing after which she said that she doesnt want to see my record card and that I can sign her on it, as parents were required to put their signatures next to their children’s grades to show that they have been informed. She showed me how to sign her and that was it. I remember she would ask me at the end of the term if I am passing the grade and that was it for awhile. I remained an excellent student, but you should have seen the faces of my friends, when I would get a grade and sign for my mom with her approval! Things changed as the time went on, but she was never as pushy as those first years in school.
I had a note in my bag from her that excused me from dental work in the school, as the dentists there were really not up to scratch. It gave me power to be the only one doing it differently, as they would cart us down to the cabinet like sheep. I had my note and I was excused.
We forged fights with the school numerous times. Communist schools, mind you, none of that democratic stuff most of you would have experienced. She never said I should just take it, because the people with power said I should. If it aint right, fight for your rights.
My mom was alternative. She was strong in a world of weak, squished by dictatorship people.
What happened next and what other stuff we have dealt with are irrelevant in this instance. She was a rebel, she questioned things and she didnt just “take it” – quite obvious really, how in the world I have little trouble doing the same.
Now I need to make sure I dont find the traits I nurture in my children treatening later on, as happened with my mom and her daugther. I doubt it, but one never knows.