Sunday, March 13, 2011

sunday night again

It's relatively quiet in the house. The dogs are in their kennels and the cats are cozied up in the den. Steve is lying down with Scout, as that is our nighttime routine. Tonight seems especially difficult. Scout wants nothing to do with closing his eyes. Like me he knows that Monday is coming. Monday means getting up early, dressing right away, 15 minutes of some silly morning television show, and off to daycare.

As daycare goes, his is as ideal as daycare can be. But it's still daycare, and something about it seems wrong. As a mother, I feel torn each day that I leave him for someone else to care for. I know that right now, working outside my home is the only real option, but I long to stay home with him and just be a mommy.

That sounds crazy coming out of my mouth. For years I couldn't imagine myself doing anything but work. I couldn't imagine being "just" a mommy. Life changes us though. Those things that seemed so important no longer mean anything. While there are things that make my job worthwhile, I'm not sure it's a fair trade off for either of us.

Each night before bed, Steve and Scout and I talk about the best and worst parts of our days. Scout's favorite part is always coming home from daycare to be with us. And while he learns lots of important things and gets "socialized," I think there's a lot he could learn if we had more days at home together.

I love how he says things. I love how he thinks. I love to watch him play on the floor in his pajamas. I love how he doesn't care if I wash my face and how he notices my jewelry. "I love your earrings, Mommy," he says. And, "your skin feels soft, Mommy." There are never enough moments to share.

His sheer joy at discovery is one of the things I like most about spending time with Scout. We grown ups forget the joy of discovery. The time I spend with Scout helps me to remember.

Tomorrow will be Monday again. I will leave Scout at daycare, and wave from my car as he waves from the window. I will think of him often throughout the day, missing the little things he does that make me smile.


Anonymous said...

Hey Missy :)

i wonder if you would bear an attempt at a bit of encouragement.

While you were not created to JUST be a mommy (there is no way a woman could be confined to that anyway) you were created to BE a mommy. Steve was created to be a daddy too. And Scout was given to the two of you cuz Father determined y'all would be best for each other. One of the ways that seems true to me is that Scout brings out the desire in you to be his mom and raise him instead of having others raise him (no matter how "ideal" those others might seem). i agree with you…you and Steve are the best people to raise Scout.

Don't think me senseless. i understand that all parents need the help of trusted others to raise their children. That help though, is best given by those who you know well and who come alongside you to help WHILE you raise him.

BUT…no one else will notice the details you and Steve do about Scout. Others are gonna see cute things cuz he's cute. They will even see flaws cuz he has em. But they won't have that insight that you and Steve alone were given FOR Scout. You are the ones perfectly gifted to give him exactly what he needs to grow into who he is to become.

YOU will see the strengths that need encouraged. YOU will see the weaknesses that need helped and the rebellion that needs guided and disciplined. And when you ask Father and those trusted others, you will be able to determine the creative ways to go about applying the training he needs to become the confident, humble and loving man he is meant to be.

Read back over your post. Look at the things you notice…the things you emphasize…the things you want to empower. No one else could write that about Scout. And i’m not talking about your professional writing ability, brilliant though it may be. ;) Steve and you are perfectly fit TO notice.

i’ve already taken enough of your space and time but please bear with me a little longer. i home schooled my son as a single father from the time he was 10 till he started college this year. It took some time to detoxify him from the age discriminated “socialization” that shaped him for the first 7 years of his education (including two years of preschool). Now he has been “socialized” across a wide range of ages. His peers and those who have influenced him span the calendar from toddlers to septuagenarians. He is quite mature and outward focused and growing all the time; that is true in spite of the fact that i am quite a stumbling bumbler (i had help from Father through those other special folks, thankfully).

The best part of it all Missy, is that i got to know my son in a way that very few other parents i know even believe possible. He is still very soft and teachable and motivated to learn and grow. He enjoys my company as much as i do his. The other late teen and twenty somethings and their parents i mentioned enjoy each other as well.

The teen years that most parents call the worst part of parenting have been a wonderful experience. They have been an opportunity for all of us to learn from each other and grow together with many challenges, much learned cooperation and only a little strife. These young people are becoming strong individuals who are unashamed to be themselves and able to empower others to do so as well.

i have described only a minute portion of the blessing we have received in JUST being our children's parents. Please know that even if there were no more to describe i would consider any self-satisfaction, prestige or monetary gain i would have had to have sacrificed to obtain it, a bargain.

It would be foolish of me to say you were wrong if you chose to continue with your job the way it is. It would be uncaring though, if i were to fail to affirm the whisper you have already heard in the deep place of your soul…that something wonderful will have been lost should you not follow the instinct now tugging at your heart. i betcha Steve feels it too.

melissa said...

Not sure why you feel the need to offer encouragement...I suppose you think you know me. But I've been down many roads since I saw your face. I work with an office full of people who believe, as you do, that homeschooling is best. I have many reservations with that method. They're just different. Glad you were successful and that your relationship with your son is a good one.
You aggravate me because you stay anonymous while I bear my open heart for all to see and sign my name. So if I seem reluctant to hear you, it's because you are a voice in the dark.
On the other hand, I get that for some odd reason you seem to care about me, so thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa :)

I have been rightly and well cornered; though it really isn’t much of a quandary. On the one hand I could persist in anonymity, resulting in you understandably questioning my credibility based on the appearance of cowardice. On the other, I can let you know who I am and allow you the opportunity to assess whether the experience of my life lends more weight to the thoughts I share than if I remain unnamed.

Since my purpose has never been to hide in the dark or to aggravate you, I will tell you who I am. (Although “But I've been down many roads since I saw your face.” has a familiar enough ring to it that I wonder if you don’t already have an idea.) I do want you to know that I chose not to identify myself because in a very real sense as I’ve stated before, who I am is superfluous. There are many more important characters in your life than me. There is One in particular whose genuine presence you and everyone you love benefit from greatly, whether you recognize His fingerprint or not. ;)

There is one other reason I haven’t signed my name till now. I didn’t want our past relationship to muddy the waters of either your life or the things I desired to share with you. It may sound quaint but I do care…about you, about your husband, about your son. I desire to protect those relationships from thoughts even youthful memories can engender.

When you wondered why I wished to encourage you, you mentioned that I might think I know you. Missy, I do not presume to think I know you now. But when you and I did know one another, I thought of you as another seeker…someone who wasn’t satisfied with the explanations that we were given for the why’s and what’s and how’s. Many people experience that dissatisfaction when they are young. You have probably seen that, as they grow even a little older, most tire of the risk involved and just start accepting the standard point of view. Those rationalizations never brought me rest. I did spend some time and energy trying to escape the search and settle into “normal”. That too left me unfulfilled.

To be honest, in most of the things I have read on your blog I see symptoms of the same in you. So I have paid some attention from time to time. Once in a while I have felt an opportunity to offer an encouragement. Those seem more important now that Scout is on the scene. The only reason I have been willing to continue to do that is because the way you have described Steve makes it sound like he might have a seeker’s heart as well. I could be wrong…it happens from time to time. ;)

Anyway, Hi :)

If you and Steve want to talk about raising and educating Scout immersed in your lives rather than in the lives of others let me know. We might be able to offer some thoughts that you can consider as you sort it out.