Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vaguely Familiar

Last weekend I couldn't stand Em's room anymore so I suggested we clean. Well. OK. I started cleaning and asked her to join me. As she entered the room, she motioned to the open window, "It's freezing in here."

"Au contraire, my little petri dish. The open window is keeping me alive in this," I said as I swept my fingers over her bookshelf and created a Pigpen-style dust cloud. "Too bad I don't have haz-mat gear."

After she finished rolling her eyes, she started cleaning as well and it dawned on me: I must have gotten the wrong baby at the hospital. Because I actually like it clean, you know, relatively speaking.

So all week I've been thinking of the many ways she and I are different, how weird that is, and how much, frankly, *I've* had to change in raising her. Just saying. She's not having to change, I am. And I wonder if she'll ever know *me*...or just me as Mom.

While I've become a better me--a more patient me, a more selfless me, a more protective but bittersweet me--it always costs to change. As a single mom, I liken this to feeling around a dark room, trying to get my bearings without another important adult there to provide a clear reflection: Ya bump into things--emotions, feelings, dust and dirty socks--and it's up to you how you handle it.

We are entering a strange new time, she and I, where we butt heads as often as holding hands. She's pulling away, wondering who'll she'll become as she grows up. I, too, wonder what I will be as more Me, less Mom.

Any other mothers going thru this? Do tell--

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