Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mother of the Year

Chocolate (Bangor) BrowniesImage via Wikipedia

I will never earn an award for Mother of the Year, nor even of the month or day. I am way too impatient, often wrapped up in my own thoughts, and have been known to actually use the phrase "Suck it up, kid..." (though only in response to idle whining and never to serious injury or heartbreak). My routines are sometimes anything but, and I've been known to actually feed my children brownies and ice cream for supper... though at the time, that did get me nominated for the award by my adoring children. The selection committee didn't think much of my meal-planning skills, however, and immediately disqualified me.

But, after reading the news tonight... I no longer feel the need to seek the approval of the Mother of the Year Selection committee... nor anyone else but my own children, for that matter. It seems a mother in a neighboring town was arrested today for punching her seven-year-old daughter in the face because she did not eat fast enough. The child went to school with a bloody nose and when questioned, told her story. Social Services was called, and the mother arrested.

That news article made me sick, but it also made me think about my own parenting skills. It is so easy to judge others, particularly in a case such as this. Tonight, I turned the spotlight back on myself and think about what the world would believe about me if there were a hidden camera in my home. What if it were to record the moments I lose my cool and yell at my precious daughters, or forget about something they need for school, or fail to supervise them closely enough and the four-year-old cuts her hair off with my sewing scissors...?

As the world is full of harsh critics, they would most likely tear me apart in their blogs, and the evening news would have a hey-day with it, probably even come up with a catchy term like "Neglecto-Mom". My angst-ridden face would be captured on film by the paparazzi and emblazoned on the cover of Time magazine with the headline "How Could She???"...

And so, there are no video cameras allowed in my home, no broadcasting of my maternal failings to the masses. The only witnesses to my bad-mothering moments are my girls, and they are still solidly in my court. According to the four-year-old, I'm the "Best cooker in the whole wide world!" and the eleven-year-old contends that I'm the "coolest mom EVER".... at least when their smiling faces are ringed with brownie crumbs.

I intend to keep brownies on hand for the next fourteen years, at least.... and hug those precious, forgiving girls, every chance I get. Hopefully, when they grow up and read the news about mothers who harm their children, they will remember a mother who loved them totally, protected them fiercely, encouraged fun and spontaneity... and while sometimes cranky and/or scatter-brained, never, ever, hurt them.

I pray tonight for that little girl, and for her mother, as well. May God heal them both.
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