Thursday, May 12, 2005

Turning out OK

Whenever I raise issues regarding how I was raised with my mom, the response I always get is: "Well, you turned out OK." I used to hear that as: "You're fine. Quit your whining." The older I get (and the more I think about having children of my own), the more I wonder if it wasn't intended to be heard as: "We had no freaking clue what we were doing and were making it up as we went along. You're lucky you aren't dead."

Shortly after Abigail was born, PJ and I went shopping for fabric to make curtains for Abigail's room. Her nursery is blue with yellow stars, mostly because we didn't know before she was born if she would be a girl or a boy. As we shopped, PJ kept gravitating towards pink and daisies. Finally she said to me, "Sometimes I wish I had known she was going to be a girl ahead of time so that we could have a pink nursery." Without thinking, I replied, "Well, now that you know you could always redo it. Not like it's something that's going to change."

And then my sister who lives in the same tiny midwestern town we grew up in, my sister who attends a church where they speak in tongues, my sister who proudly voted for W., this sister of mine leaned over the stroller and without a hint of jest whispered to her sleeping child, "And even if that does change someday, I'll always love you and you're always welcome to come home, no matter what your father may say."

I know she's told me that sometimes she feels like she has no freaking clue what she's doing and is making it up as she goes along. But somehow, I have a feeling Abigail's going to turn out OK.