"Let's have six. Let's have a dozen and pretend they're donuts!"

by Amy Turn Sharp


So tired of being angry at Finn for acting out.
I know it is actually my expectations that I place upon him like heavy weights on his lanky frame. I know it is not his fault and he is just five years old and the world is so lush and he is finding his voice and his body moves so beautifully and who wouldn't want to be so free?
It's a funny thing parenthood-no matter how hard you try you can't help but find yrself repeating patterns and forming paths that you might have once hated in yr own parents.
I can't find my own carefree self anymore under this bullshit.
I just come back to finding the parts of my father that I really don't want.
The parts that don't make up the sum of him-
but the parts that were hard for me as his daughter.
The unrealistically high expectations, the anger of unknown origins.
Why can't I find my mothers shoulder shrug or
my mothers ability to drop everything and move right on with her day?
Smiling the entire time void of irony and really filled with peace?
Why would I stay mad at my five year old for hours?
I say yes to everything and most people think I am so la dee da centered.
Bull to the poo.
I am struggling to go back and think in the most basic terms with my five year old.
He is unable to remain focused at a bustling farmer's market while I hold his brother and describe in detail to strangers about locally harvested hardwoods and the benefits of natural teething toys.
No shit.
Why should he want to be good?
I just want him to remember the way I held him on my stadium chair while we ate ice cream and watched the world go by. The feeling of the sunshine burrowing into our bodies.
I am pretty sure that I don't want him to recall the way I growled in his ear to sit down and be quiet numerous times.
The way I was looking at him.
I was looking at him harder than I should.
All of my joy fell off my body today and hit the hard concrete
with a sadness that was almost deafening to only me.
It's just hard to find yrself as a mother.
It's hard to stop repeating patterns that just come so easily and without thought.
Autopilot parenting is not my friend.
I need to be more thoughtful.
I need to show Finn all of the good parts of me over and over and over so that when he calls up my image in his mind and spins me round he gets lucky most times.
He gets to remember my positive bits most.
Like the way I laugh real with him and tell him things
like how the world will be and what he may look like when he is twenty.
How I whisper in his face love notes and tell him all of my wishes and tickle his back and smell good and hold his head in my lap and pinky promise that he is my best friend.
I think the hardest part of life for me is the good vs naughty self.
I have so much good in me and sometimes I feel like I was put on earth to share it around but even this being so true, there is the part of me that I have always tried to fight and push down and stomp and hide.
I don't know where my negativity comes from and I don't care anymore.
Even if I could trace back the genealogy- pin point the origin on a map in some faraway city and
go to that ancestral grave yard and shake my fist at some hard stone... it doesn't really matter.
I got it and it's all mine.
I just wish it would go away more often.
The parent I want to be and try so hard to be just doesn't live inside of me enough.
And that is the expectation that hangs around my neck.
And it's heavy today.

title post- Parenthood 1989