Friday, February 6, 2009

Where I suck at an attempt to be serious

I don't do serious well.

I take considerable satisfaction in writing about the daily, seemingly unexciting aspects of life. While one could easily write about significant, one-time events, I don’t usually take that approach. My reasoning is an easy one; I don’t believe that those occurrences matter so much in the greater scheme of things. What I believe shapes us, our memories, and our legacy are those small things that we battle, take comfort in, or celebrate on an ongoing basis. Years from now, when I look back at this time with Kate, reminiscing about how stubborn she was about brushing her teeth, or the eclectic dance moves she entertained us with nightly, are moments I want to remember most. They are most reflective of this time and are filled with love, laughter, tears, and smiles. I enjoy the challenge of documenting those moments, the categorically mundane. I approach them like I do life in general, with a sprinkling of sarcasm and humor.

Additionally, providing stories and thoughts that other parents can relate to is a comfort to me. I fully recognize that I am not unique in dealing with the challenges of parenting a three-year old and I never try to imply that I am. Instead, I embrace the opportunity to put that story out there for others. Some mothers will find immediate relief in recognizing that they are not alone in dealing with those tribulations. Other mothers will smile in relief that they cannot relate at all, appreciating that FINALLY there is one obstacle to parenting they didn’t encounter. Parenting is a skill that is never fully acquired. It evolves daily and more turbulently with every developmental stage. Often, I find myself “just” starting to figure out how to master the crisis.of.the.moment, only to look up and realize that Kate has careened past that stage onto something entirely different.

I’ve spent the majority of my life striving for excellence, achievement, and perfection. Parenting was the first task that stopped me in my tracks, as I realized that I will never quite perfect it. Despite my attentiveness and absolute best intentions, and sometimes because of them, things will go wrong. I often say that being a mother is by far more challenging than I ever could have imagined, but infinitely more rewarding than I ever could have fathomed at the same time.

I don’t feel the need to explain myself to you, or justify my writing because this ultimately is for me. However, I couldn’t resist the urge after receiving multiple emails trying to give me suggestions on how to get my daughter to eat. While I appreciate the concern and suggestions (and do not want to isolate those who sent them!), it made me realize that perhaps my love of writing and story-telling jumbled up the lightheartedness of the post. For that, I apologize. I have a knack for finding comedic value in most anything, but those situations rarely ever ruffle my feathers.

However, I am not above begging you for help when the situation warrants it. As such, look forward to that edition in a couple of weeks with desperate posts on HOW.DO.I.FLY.WITH.MY. CRAZY.THREE.YEAR.OLD. Those are the situations that require immediate intervention and assistance.


Kristin said...

Looking back on how quickly the past 7 years flew by with my oldest i am so glad to be documenting my life in a blog now. It really isn't the huge memories I miss but the small day to day ones. This post hit the nail on the head.

Call Me Cate said...

That makes complete sense to me, Lyndsay. And I'll say that as someone without children, your blog is one that I read and feel like I get a peek at what day-to-day life might be like. I love the one-off stories but I really appreciate knowing that it's not full-throttle all the time.

If any of that makes sense.

Ann's Rants said...

You write beautifully, Lyndsay. Very well said. Wish I did more cataloging my kids moments rather than random bs, but I guess I have a knack for random bs.

Jeanne said...

I love your posts -- mostly, I think, because I really like your writing, and having raised a daughter (a looooong time ago) I can identify with what you write about. So keep it coming!

Grand Pooba said...

Ver well put! I'm not a parent but enjoy reading your adventures and I appreciate that you find humor in everything!

Jenners said...

You so totally captured the joys and pains of parenting with this post. I feel the same way ... just when I think I have him figured out, he changes on me. And I so realize now that my parents probably weren't they all-knowing experts I always thought they were ... I realize now they were probably *gasp* making it up as they went along ... just like me. And I too have always prided myself on being competent and in control until I became a mother ... and then I realized how little I knew what I was doing. It is quite a journey! : )

WPMomOf2 (jen) said...

another great post!! :)

Petunia said...

I love getting a peek into your life. Somedays it makes me grateful I will never have a threwe year olkd! Other days it makes me wonder if I am missing out on something. Either way, I never feel as if you are posting looking for help or advice. Those that offer it are way out of line. Help is only help if one asks for it. When help is given minus the asking, it's not help any more. It can become quite insulting.

Did that help, in anyway, at all?! :)