I’d found a folded paper on the floor of the school desk ahead of me. It was a poem written in calligraphic script.
“If I had to raise my child all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch more with my eyes.
I would care to know less and know to care more.
I’d stop playing serious and seriously play.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
I’d see the oak tree in the acorn more often.
I would be firm less often and affirm much more.
I’d model less about the love of power, and more about the power of love“.
Anonymous was wise, and often is. Anonymous knew the power of a moment, knew the power of priorities. I’d folded this paper and filed it in a memorabilia box, hoping it would prove useful in the future. Thirteen years later, my journey into parenting had begun and I’d only just begun to realize the magnitude of these wise words.
Now these words are what I aspire in my everyday. Pre-parenting I thought I could have written the parenting book. With notecards in hand, I, a post-partum nurse, taught my near-homegoing mothers about baby care. I was certain I had enough information to successfully parent my children, and probably theirs.
Turns out, my ego and naivete would soon be dashed. Another twelve years later and I certainly have enough stories to write a book, yet it would not be a how-to. I’m past the point of thinking I have all the answers. I’ve learned that the quote, there is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one, is accurate. I’ve learned many ways to be a good mother, by trial and error, sheer frustration, maternal instinct, sage advice, or falling upon it. And I’ve got a thousand more things to yet learn.
Some days seem charmed. Some, not so much. But, carpe diem. I will seize the day and try to capture the charmed life.