Being a parent really hones your sense of mortality. The idea that this other living being is dependent on you makes me examine the fragility of life more closely, given my own health history sometimes this is a topic fraught with a heavy dose of reality. The fragility of life and the worry that my daughter might be left without a parent too early, informs some of my parenting. I’m not sure what Green thinks about this aspect of parenting, but he can be terribly stoic that way and I do enough worrying for both of us. I think about what I would want her to know if I wasn’t around anymore. That I love her and she is the most precious thing in my life obviously, but what else?
Advice for the Heart? I want to leave her some dating advice. I wasted a ridiculous amount of energy crying over useless romantic interests, and I’d love to save her that, but that I think is for a later date. An action I’m actually able to teach her at the tender age of three is about the importance of community involvement.
Activism was part of my growing up. My parents had my little brother and I on picket lines and in marches at a young age. I can still remember the songs from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament marches and the chants (AND the message) from picketing against the building of a factory right next to our neighbourhood school. It was not uncommon when I was elementary age to fall asleep to the sounds of impassioned discussion about local issues and I have fond memories of this. It was something we did as a family, we were involved positive community action; we were part of a community and it was our duty to support the community. So, I admit, it is the lack of meaningful action and community action that I have participated in as an adult that I’m most disappointed in myself about. Heck, I didn’t get my US citizenship until a year and a half ago (just in time to vote in the big election) despite being eligible for nearly 15 years.
Getting my citizenship was empowering, becoming a parent more so. Finding time as a parent who works more than a full time job outside the home to take action? That has been more difficult. Help A Mother Out‘s mission struck right to my heart and involvement in this grassroots group has allowed me to take action, to make a difference in my community and share with our daughter the importance of community. I’ve talked about what we’re up to in Tucson this week, with the Learn-to-Knit Party, but there are activities going on all over the US and I know that there are people dropping in and reading this blog from all sorts of places. Often these are activities you can do with your kids if you want. Please consider attending one of the diaper drive parties happening around the country. Whether you can be there are not please share what is going on with friends and family whether with a simple email, facebook status, or blog post. You don’t have to explore your parenting angst like I did here (I’m thinking alot about parenting philosophy right now because its part of the adoption autobiography), just say: Hey, this looks like fun and it is for a great cause. Perhaps show your own mama a little love this upcoming Mother’s Day with a good karma gift of donation to Help A Mother Out.
While we’re on the topic of life lessons, what are the important lessons that your family taught you? What do you want to teach your children?