On my birthday (back in February), J's parents and Pop-Pop came over for dinner. We ordered burritos (have I mentioned that every time they come over on a weeknight, we're ordering take-out? Dead-beat daughter-in-law, I know.)
That night we talked pretty openly about parenting. I love these conversations with J's mom and dad. I adore how thoughtful they are about parenting and parent-child relationships. Sure, everyone makes mistakes; but they have certain convictions that I agree with today. It certainly helps that they are delightfully liberal, loving people; when we have conversations like this, I get the distinct feeling that though they had their babies 30+ years ago, the chasm that separate the generations is not so vast.
I wish I could say the same for my side of the family. Sometimes? When I talk to my mom? I feel like we were raised on different planets, and that no matter how delicately I phrase things, we'll never cross that divide.
I have always been fiercely independent. I suppose that's putting it mildly. The bottom line is: I trust myself. I trust that I know what is right for me, and what is wrong for me. With my advancing years, I've also learned to forgive myself. Sometimes I make bad decisions. I choose to learn from those mistakes. I never blame anyone else for them (well, sometimes these days I'll blame J when I forget something that he never reminded me to do, but that's totally justified. PREGNANCY BRAIN, y'all. Do not fuck with it.)
J and I make a lot of choices that, I think, confound people. Like, we get on our sustainability high horse, and we talk about our decision to eat organically. To buy organic items for our Ninja. To use low VOC paints in the Ninja nursery. To use - wait for it - cloth diapers.
There is not one, single solitary person that I have spoken with that understands our decision to use cloth diapers. Most people wrinkle their noses and tell us we are nuts. That we'll change our minds.
And other than my mild exasperation at this thinking, I suppose what confounds people the most about us? Is that most of the time, we just don't care what other people think. We make decisions that work best for our family. And we make them together. We talk through them. And when our decisions feel good, we feel good; and then we hold hands while we walk down the street and giggle at our good fortune in this life. Seriously, we are pretty happy people. Why you tryin' to bring us down?
I just wonder... on the cusp of parenthood... if you had one wish for your children - what would that be?
I ask myself that question everyday, and I always come back to this. I want the Ninja to be sublimely happy in life.
If that means that the Ninja needs to move to Equador to build orphanages, and J and I only see him/her once a year? That's what it means, y'all. That doesn't mean that we don't secretly want the Ninja to live next door to us for the rest of our lives, but we want our baby to do what makes him/her happy (you know, as long as that is not selling meth from a trailer park, or serial killing).
So since I am no meth-dealing, serial killer living in a trailer park, and am sublimely happy most of the time, I wonder... why isn't the one who raised me happy for me? Why isn't she somewhere sighing with contentment that she raised a daughter who is confident and clear-headed (except for the pregnancy brain)?