I’ve always been a weird mix between morbid-inner-teenage-angster and Miss Positivity (my yin and yang energy signature). On the one hand, I embark on something new with my breath held, just in case it is a total disaster. On the other, I jump in with both feet and think that if I give it my all by devoting time, energy and a positive attitude, that there’s nothing new I can’t handle! I think that is a result of my genetic heritage: passionate, impulsive Italian mixed with skeptical, hesitant German/Irish.
The impact this mixed energy has on my parenting is probably considerable. One day, I see the progress one or two of my children have made and think: the sky’s the limit with that kid! The next: one step forward, two steps back. Or even three. And I will feel like a failure. But my job as a mom isn’t predicated on whether this kid or that is stepping on some linear line to personal or educational success…or whether they have absorbed all of the hands-on instruction and are executing it well. I have to show up, hair clean and shoes shined, WHETHER OR NOT they meet the bar my husband and I have set for them. Okay, not hair clean and shoes shined – because most of the emotional or logistical work that I do happens before nine a.m., especially on school days. But I DO have to keep showing up. And keep putting that foot forward, even if some days feel like a total loss, parenting-wise. Because the dance doesn’t stop just because your kids are growing up – it just transitions from a cha-cha to a foxtrot to a waltz. And I gotta keep up, even when I fall. ESPECIALLY when I fall.