Confession of a Scattered Mom
There are some days in which I realize I am a total failure as a mother. When I feel like it’s a miracle that my children aren’t roaming the streets in rags begging people for food.
Other days there are little things that bother me but I manage to shrug them off. Like when I look over at my daughter in church and see that she is wearing leggings with holes in the knees and the front of her coat is dirty; or a particularly busy week has gone by and I can’t remember the last time the bathing-aversive Number 2 has taken a shower; or the days when I realize all of my kids are shaggy-headed and their nails are twice as long as mine because I can never seem to get the routine stuff done regularly.
I can usually sigh and say to myself, I am doing my best, they are healthy and happy and these little things won’t matter in 10 years.
But then something bigger will be brought to my attention.
Take what happened the other day, as an example.
I got the following email:
Here’s my confession: I didn’t know he was playing the recorder.
I guess if I think really hard, I remember him telling me he had to bring his recorder into class. If I dig deep, I can vaguely remember reading a class expectations handout when school started that said they would be continuing the recorder program they started last year.
- I have never seen him play the recorder this year.
- I have never reminded him to practice.
- I haven’t asked him how things were going with it.
- I have been totally oblivious to this.
I had failed.
Last year the recorder was a big thing. We had to buy one and remember to put it in his backpack on the night before music class every week. I reminded him to practice and listened to the familiar shrill notes that brought 3rd grade memories to me. I helped him study for tests on the scales.
This year he started playing the flute and we have been focused on that. I remind him to practice, I listen, I make sure he brings his flute and music on the appropriate days, I pick him up from band practice after school every Wednesday.
Most are things that I should have been doing for the recorder as well.
Unbeknownst to me, quietly, in the background, he has been doing what he needs to do to succeed in music class. Somehow he brings his recorder every week (without me telling him) and his performance grades are excellent even though I have never seen him practice.
It’s almost like he doesn’t even need me.
Maybe I am not such a failure after all*.
*Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. I am pretty convinced that this failure on my part would have resulted in failure on my child’s part had this been any of my other kids. Number 2 carries all the self-discipline for the family.