I don’t have much in my life these days. I don’t have any money to speak of; I certainly don’t have a job, direction, or even a clue as to how I am going to survive until next week much less next year. I am a bipolar woman who spends the majority of her days all alone, just as I wish, but now has to go get a job. I am a person who is intelligent and for the most part doesn’t understand the vast majority of information that most seem to understand easily. I am not beautiful yet I work hard to be so.
But I did two things very, very right. I gave life to a son and a daughter. To many this isn’t a great achievement; this isn’t something to brag about or really think about. But for me, a person who either because of my disease or because of the very wrong makeup of who and what I am, this is something noteworthy. I will never be great, nor will I ever be particularly good. But I gave breath to something that is.
I try to not post often about my children. One, they are rather sacred to me but also I like to keep them off everyone’s radar. I am a person that guards with all her heart that which is most precious to her. And there is literally nothing as important to me as my children.
But a couple of times a year, maybe out of sentimentality or because I need the boost, I look at my children and just need to say how incredible they are.
They, in all their glory, are amazingly normal. I will never be normal; I doubt I ever was. But they are. Imagine for a moment that you couldn’t read. But you create a being that could. Imagine the wonder. Imagine the breath stealing moments of pride that you would have. This is how I feel every time I see my children.
I try very hard to give my children a life that is full of adventure, music, books, learning, fun, and sometimes a little silliness. I believe our children grow up way too fast, and I believe that it is up to me as a mother to slow it down sometimes. I believe our children are often pressured to forget about magic and wonder and it is our duty as a mother to take them outside to see the first rays of dawn on a new day. I believe our children are pressured to be great, to be perfect, to be every little thing until they fail so spectacularly that they are then doomed to a mediocre life. Almost as if we tell our children, if you aren’t the best, you aren’t good enough.
In my endless quest to try and bring something other to my children I often am accused by my children of being insane – and as I am, I can only laugh. Sometimes being insane for my children means standing in front of their classrooms and playing impromptu games to make their friends laugh. Sometimes being insane means dancing in the middle of the grocery store, or jumping in every one of those puddles. Being insane for the sake of my children means going beyond my comfort zone and lighting up their eyes.
I am the first to admit that education, studying, playing team sports, and being a healthy and well-rounded individual is important. I am the first one to tell you that a child has to learn to conform in order to become truly great; they have to learn the rules in order to break them.
But there is more to life than just that. And there is plenty of time to give it all to those young, impressionable minds. There is so much to show them. And you can do it in line at a grocery store or waiting for your prescriptions. You can point the wonders, the magic in laughter and beauty out by simply showing them how it is done. I never ask my children to do something that I can not do. I don’t believe in it. And the way I teach is to get right out there and do it; get right out there and show it.
For my son it is about finding the logical, linear way to explain that which is often inexpiable. It is Google-ing and researching all the potential answers to all the potential questions so I am ready to give it in a way that not only he can understand, but allows him to think beyond the vision he is given. For my son, it is all about getting him to the next question and then the next question…
My daughter is different. My daughter is not a linear thinker. My daughter is not easy like her big brother. She is complex and complicated even at the young age of five. She has been picking out her own clothes since she was three, and rather me telling her when we are going to be doing something she simply does it her way. There is no compromise, she is simply too stubborn, and there is no easy out. She will take that line in the sand and convince you that it is the starting point for negotiating.
She learns by through art, through bright colors, and through the ability to get her hands dirty. You can speak to my son all you want, but you better have something more for my daughter. Trust me, she will simply shrug, walk off, and never come back.
But they share traits as well. They are so starved each day to learn and try new things; even when it is only in their way. If you catch them the right way, they can give a mother more than she ever gave them. They push boundaries of thought, of emotion, of sheer determination. Both are so strong that I can only see my own weaknesses.
I live for the moments when I can bring to them that single moment of magic. The times when their eyes and their faces literally lift in joy. Those itty-bitty seconds when this world is more than they ever imagined. And when I can give them this, I realize the importance, the reason I am here.
I gave one of those moments to my daughter when she celebrated her 5th birthday recently. It was one of those perfect moments I will never be able to duplicate. But it was a moment that made me realize that despite the fact I am starting to be more than broke financially and that I am insane, I am a good mom. And I have found that is good enough for me.