Tuesday, February 19, 2013

the way forward

it's all happening too fast.

with the stealth of lara croft, my daughter snuck into my bedroom, spun around my office chair at least 13 times, snatched a handful of chocolate covered almonds, and stuffed them safely into her mouth, chewing them well before the 2 minutes it usually takes me to find her, wherever she is, in our home.

my little girl turns 2 in a couple of weeks and she constantly asks "why" with the sure wisdom of the word's pause-inducing power over her mothers. why, indeed, do we have to put her jacket on when we're still in the restaurant and not outside? why, indeed, does she actually need to stay in the stroller? why in the world does she have to go where we're going?

all the while, my son who turns 4 in a month is constantly giving us feedback and providing us with remedial training on just about everything: what to put away, how to cook, how to make him a glass of warm milk. today, i got schooled on the fact that i should not slide a glass across the table and just about an hour ago, he told me it was "so rude of [my wife,  his other mother]" not to have taken the time to say goodbye before leaving for her meeting.

there is a veritable onslaught of articles and blogs and books in these here interwebz on how to raise childre, "the right way" (never mind all that other noise on my untraditional family make-up). i read what interests me, take my grain of salt, and pay no attention to the rest.

i'm not a perfect person. i'm not a perfect mother. and like any other parent, i do what i feel is right for my family as things happen. i do my best. some days it's an uphill battle of wills (and let's face it, wits), made difficult by sleep deprivation and competing priorities - especially when i'm on auto-pilot (and make no mistake, it's ugly). other days, i'm thunderstruck with a joy that wells to the point where there simply are no words.

photo by the wife from the top of rock island in whytecliff park.
she and the boy scaled it together for the first time. 
right now, at this moment, i'm proud of my already-opinionated, very vocal, incorrigible babes. putting aside all necessary discipline measures, each moment of dissent (among other unflattering emotions) beams in me a glimmer of hope that these babes will stand up for themselves when it counts, that they will carry on feeding their curiosity, and question the status quo when they think it's necessary. 

every time they give us feedback, it is always humbling, yes. but it also lets me know that on some level - even as toddlers, they see us as human, as well as their parents.

the girl is only nearly 2 and the boy is only nearly 4. but it is so important to me that they know that the process of learning and communicating is a road that goes the distance, under often unpredictable circumstances, in both directions. 

and we can all take turns leading the way forward.

all photos taken at the breathtaking whytecliff park in west vancouver


  1. Did no one read this! This is a nominating wining post.
    Maybe because I related to it so much. I believe in instinctual parenting. Go with your gut. If it works for you may not for me. My son has always shown signs that he is smarter than the rest of us and my daughter is care free and a bit reckless .
    Our days are are a lot like yours i can only assume.
    This was a beautifully written Margo :)

  2. you are too funny! but i appreciate your visits here and i enjoy my visits to your blog (although i don't always comment, alas), too. makes me feel like i'm having a cup of tea with you as we commiserate about our life and times as moms. thanks you thank you.