Monday, October 28, 2013

Perfect little mama

Don't misunderstand, that's not what I am calling myself.

This is about 'providing' experiences for K. It's Halloween week (remember when it was just a day or two around Halloween and not a month?) and I had big plans for my 14 month old. We were going to the zoo for Pumpkin Bash. We were going to meet other moms at Harvest Fest at waddle around in the bought-on-time duck costume (I always made my own costume at the last minute). I was going to bring him to an adult party to show him off (many haven't seen him since his birth!). I even bought candy two weeks ahead of time (it's all gone now, but I did!).

But here's what happened. K started teething weeks ago and this past weekend he was tired, drool-y, congested, hungry, and I just let us be home. We went out a bit for necessary errands, but ultimately, I missed the "festive" and "tradition-building" boat. And felt crappy looking at pictures of more "active" families, doing the holiday thing on Facebook.


I started down the road of "Crap, are we those parents? The parents who don't do holiday type things at the time of the actual holiday?" It's a long, bumpy road.

But luckily, after nap #2, when I went it to get K, I saw my kid's face when he saw me. He was happy to see me. He doesn't know he missed ANYTHING. In fact, really, all he cares about is missing me. I know that because he's happy most of the time. And actually, so am I. I'm content to play inside when it rains (we didn't go out because I can't justify a clean costume+rain+teething/congestion+and no papa to share it with--papa was working).

We have loads of fun at home. My kid sleeps at night. I am not depressed or starved for me-time. These are the things that make a difference. I remember a couple Halloweens and a few other holidays. There are holidays that stand out and others that don't. And frankly, I only care about spending time with my family. Seriously. If we all had to just sit around and eat beans out of a can while telling stories, I would be so content it would be surprising to most people.

When I got pregnant and then birthed K, I made no promises of standard traditions being upheld. In fact, I didn't make any promises but this is my vow: I vow to love. That's it. I may forget to do things and we may have minimal money sometimes for Hanukkah and birthdays...and we may be too tired for cookie-making and wreath-hanging...but I vow to love fiercely. And we'll find moments and create memories and it won't be about awesome costumes and holiday festivities every year. Some years, yes. Other years, we'll opt for whatever we can manage. But boy, there will be love.

So I let up on myself. K and I had a bit of dinner, took a bath, and he went to bed early. He slept through the night, and I couldn't wait to see him again in the morning. He may not remember that specific thing, but his duck costume has nothing to do with my love for him. And I am grateful for that. It's just a holiday, it's just a costume.

I can let go of all the parental expectations I have for myself. My mom wasn't "on" every holiday. She picked her favs and I remember about 20% of those. Also, it doesn't make a lot of sense to make a big deal of holidays that aren't a big deal to me. When K gets older, he'll let his loves/preferences be known. I loved me some Hanukkah...and I still love it. I don't celebrate it the way our family did when I was little, but I still love it. I need to trust that we'll figure it out together...the whole family...not just the mama who checks Pinterest too much.

There are so many things that I never even thought about letting go of...

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