last night, i took the girls to cupcake royale in ballard where we found a pack of rat city rollergirls enjoying some delicious cupcakes. sadie, my three year old, was completely entranced by all this girl power. she left our table and slipped into their circle near the door, staring up in awe. she was especially taken by the lady with the mohawk and tattoo on her skull and followed her back to her seat. after a very nice conversation, the woman left to join her friends. sadie watched her go and then breathlessly turned to me and asked, “can that girl be our babysitter?”
i see my future and it has lots of black eyeliner, super-annoying music, sulking, maybe a rat or two. i see it coming and there’s nothing i can do to stop it. thankfully, i have these early years to get some brainwashing in, to teach her how to make safe decisions and to know what to do when she’s getting in over her head. but one of my biggest lessons so far from this motherhood thing is that our kids just are who they are from the very beginning. i can’t change her. i just have to get on that skateboard she asks for all the time and tag along for the ride.
********* time passes *********
my husband read this post and wonders if i am projecting my own unlived life out on sadie. that bugs me, which probably means there’s some truth to it. c.g. jung said, “nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on [one’s] environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.” he also said, “if there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” my husband and i are both recovering suburbanites and felt a lot of pressure to conform to the neighborhood. we want our kids to have the freedom to be whoever it is that they really are. but i can also see the ways that we are projecting our own unlived childhoods onto our kids. the husband loves it when sadie rocks out to motorhead and AC/DC and i love it when she dives into mudpuddles wearing a swim mask and moon boots.
so maybe both are true. our kids are innately, distinctly themselves with tendencies and temperaments all their own. and at the same time, they want our love. they are always watching, molding, bending, expressing our secret (and not so secret) dreams.