The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007



My daughter had a bruising day yesterday. From the moment she woke up, her emotions were overheated, misread, and dragged her behind them like a freight train.

Nothing sounded good to wear, to eat, to play. No one seemed to hear her anguished plea for the world to be the way she desperately needed it to be.

I was cast as the brutal, unyielding bully mother at every juncture. I felt abusive, insisting she wear boots instead of sandals that she had to eat protein if she wanted dessert that she could not make her sister go away.

Being 4 is a vicious time. Children floating comfortably in fantasy fall perilously into reality. Death exists and is permanent, stories are suddenly understood as unreal, other people control many of the child’s choices and consequences for their actions exist and persist across time. Time itself opens to them, an expanse with a permanent record rather than a slide across a projector, there and gone at their will.

And I have to play her bad guy, emissary of limits, bedtimes, manners, and overall prohibition.

So, to this mess of tears and a tiara sobbing on the floor, watching her friend get to eat vanilla ice cream she cannot have until she eats some dinner, I can only offer to hold her and start again. It doesn’t work; she kicks me, and cries the most serious of rejections:

“I want my Daddy! I just want my Daddy” she wails, alone in her pile of misery.

When my husband arrives on the scene, she clings to him with both hands, looking back at me as though I am a marauding hyena. Her shoulders hunched, eyes wide, sniffling and begging Daddy to be alone with her in her room, she leaves.

I understand this terrain, the ill-fitting blustery rage that descends when we can’t have things be as they are. When it is too painful to maintain a connection with someone telling you that you may not have what you know you need to feel better.

To be powerless, and awkward. To endlessly love and need people so much who prevent your desires from finding satisfaction. To start to understand that you are indeed not the center of the universe.

Beginning to understand that everyone else is as big a planet, not chunks of stone orbiting you. What grief. I hear my daughter crying to my husband, “Mama didn’t understand. She was confused about what I needed. I needed her to only put everything the way I like it.”

Then just tears.

I can hear in her language her attempt to forgive me for not telepathically receiving and fulfilling her wish. She is starting to understand that we are separate, no matter how much I love her or how hard I try.

I go to bed and feel tearful at how painful this is, growing up, even in full confidence of being loved, having to become a person: only sometimes successful, affected by others, gripped by competing wants.

It’s not too far away, when someone I love is diagnosed with cancer, when a lawsuit takes a loved one down into hell, when babies aren’t born healthy. Four is my own bitten down grief at apparent injustice, feeling helpless to bigger forces.

By Avvy Mar

Labels: , , , , ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble This Post Add to Technorati Favorites
I hear you on this one Shannon, but boy does it get me running on what are moms charged to do when this level of violence is increasing in our schools and universities, where we send our kids? It looks like a radical invitation to support gun law MAJOR reform as well. Maybe action will help us sleep better ?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?