Friday, February 23, 2007

Looking through mommy glasses

I don't think that being a mother has entirely changed my view of the world, but I do find that it has given me one more perspective. I've got my rose colored glasses, my faith glasses, my feminist glasses, and now I've got mommy glasses too. I find that certain types of stories bring out the mommy glasses and paste them to my face, more or less. Stories about people in pain smack my mommy glasses onto my face so hard that I reel from the impact. I have, I think we all have, been hearing a lot about a couple of very unhappy women the past week or two. When I saw the vulnerable head of Britney Spears in a photograph, I wanted to tuck her onto my lap, rock her back and forth a little and tell her that everything would be all right. It's the mommy glasses. They make me want to cuddle and coo and fix every ouchie with a magical kiss. And inevitably, I turn my eyes toward my own children. I don't ever want my children to feel that vulnerable. I don't ever want my daughter to feel that she needs to be beautiful to be loved. I don't ever want my son to feel that he is alone in this world. I want them to be tough enough to endure. I want them to be able to look into the gaping maw of unhappiness and say, "No thanks. I think I'll find a different path." I want them to feel connected to the world, so that when they feel lonely it will be a passing thing, a mere glimpse. I think that sometimes I need to pry the mommy glasses off my face when I'm looking at my own kids. When they cry, I need to tuck them onto my lap, rock them back and forth a little, and then help them to figure out how to fix their own ouchies. The very thought breaks my heart - but better mine than theirs. What do you think? How can we prepare our kids for the reality that life isn't always happy? How can we teach them to take care of themselves? How can we give them the possibility of happiness?


Katie said...

Isn't the Britney thing just sad? I think of what she must have been feeling, what it means to a sex symbol to cut off her hair. The message she's trying to send. Poor girl.

I don't have mommy glasses, except where dogs are concerned. I suppose that'll change eventually.

Lisa said...

I'm still trying to figure that one out, Christy. If I do, I'll share.

And it hurt me, too, to see Britney with all her hair cut off. She looked so young.

Christy said...

She IS so young! That's the thing - she's what, 25? And I think the message was that she's feeling vulnerable. Sometimes, I feel like the poor girl lost the lottery for the public stoning. (A gold star to anyone who recognized that literary reference. And maybe a cookie too.)