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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Shooting for the Stars

Something the school psychologist said at a conference sometime ago wakes me up suddenly in the middle of the night.

Something to the effect that parents of only children may feel that this is their one shot to do it right.

All our hopes, dreams and aspirations pinpointed with laser precision on this one individual.

Yikes! He’s right. There’s no ‘do over’ with only one child.

Concert pianist. Celebrity Chef. Federal Reserve Chairman, sorry Chairperson. Nobel Prize Winner. Ruler of the Free World.

This is our one shot.

I’ve got to get on this immediately. What was I thinking wasting these precious seven years, letting her indulge in her own pursuits? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

It was now 3 a.m. Should I get on the Internet and start investigating right away what activities I could sign her up for? Then I could be ready with my list by morning and begin making calls ASAP.

My mind is swirling with plans – Mandarin classes, private tutoring in math and science, chess, piano, tennis. I would definitely need an Excel chart.

I am irritated by my sleeping husband. Gloriously unaware that we may be nurturing the next Gloria Steinem under our roof. God, do I have to do everything?

Fate may have dealt her a sibling-less hand, but there are advantages to being an only child. Never a need to compete for your parents’ attention. No need to say, “You love her/him more than me” (saying it about the family dog just doesn’t carry the same weight). Never have to share a room or beloved toys or be dragged to siblings’ baseball games and school plays.

Then unbidden a picture slips into my super-charged mind. How she looks longingly at the playing neighbors’ kids with their built-in companionship. Building sandcastles by herself at every beach vacation while close by brothers and sisters play Marco Polo.

She will never have that one other person or persons in the world who really understand the entity that are her parents.

An only child can be a lonely station the psychologist had said, handing us a poem “On Children” by Kahlil Gibran:

“…your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls.
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams…”

Okay. Calm down. Take stock. Need to re-focus. It’s only 6 a.m.; not the end of the world.
Kahlil’s right. She’s going to have her unique burdens to bear and victories to celebrate. She may not be the next Tiger Woods or Jane Austen. And that is fine. Case closed.

Note to self: doesn’t mean one can’t harbor a secret desire to bring to the world the next Marie Curie.

By Tania Malik


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I LOVE it too! Inspiring! Laura-Lynne
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