Monday, January 01, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-changes

During my freshman year of college, I fancied myself a Philosophy major. My heart would flutter, my mouth would water and my eyes would glaze over at the sound of such names as Socrates, Descartes, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche. Even though my career in Philosophy did not pan out, I still consider myself a novice philosopher. I take every opportunity to ponder the nature of the Universe and to theorize about my existence in it.

This philosopher part of me has remained much the same these past 20 years...
Unchanged.


As I was driving into my office this morning, I heard the words of one of my favorite modern philosophers. He is an American philosopher who hails from Jersey. You may recognize his words…


...No one can save me
The damage is done

Shot through the heart,
And you’re to blame.
You give love…
A bad name.


The haunting lyrics of the venerated Bon Jovi gave me pause. I would hate to have the reputation of giving anything a “bad name,” let alone tainting the sanctity of the meaning of love. Upon hearing these words, I was compelled to reflect upon myself and my actions in the role of Mother.

Last night, my 3 year old daughter was up all night long with the stomach flu. For most of the night, I held her in my arms while she rocked back and forth in agony from the pain in her stomach. At the appropriate moment I leaned her body over the toilet, pulled back her long hair while she wretched uncontrollably and then gave her water to rinse out her mouth. After each of these rounds, I snuggled beside her on the couch while she watched Noggin and waited until the next episode of sickness overtook her.

At around 3am, as the waves of nausea finally subsided, we both stumbled to bed and crawled under the covers to get some much needed rest. She curled her slight frame into me, looked at me with startling intensity and whispered, “Mommy, thank you for taking care of me. Thank you for helping me to throw up and for snuggling me on the couch. I love you, Mommy.”

My daughter adores me. She loves me with absolute abandon. The magnitude of her unabated love for me is, to say the very least, staggering. As such, I am at once honored and frightened.

She will not always look at me with those adoring eyes. Someday, all too soon, she will be a teenager. Her all-consuming love for me will...
Change.


So, when Jon’s words cascaded over me in the car this morning, I was desperate to think of a way that I might live up to my daughter’s adoration. How do I make sure that when she turns 13 years old she won’t slam her bedroom door and then scream at me from her guarded position, “You suck as a mother! You give love a bad name!”

After much thought I decided that I can not do anything to ensure her constant, steady love for me…especially when she enters the dreaded teen years. But, even though her love for me may change, I must make certain that my love for her…
Remains the same.


Hi! My name is Bobita. I am visiting today from Blooming Yaya for January's Blog Exchange. Usually you can find me there detailing various moments of my life...which may or may not include one or more of my three children, an irreverent husband, the perpetual piles of laundry cluttering my house and occasional ponderings of the Universe.

Please visit ECR at my place today...and make certain to visit the other members of this month's Blog Exchange. If you would like to join the Blog Exchange, you can find out how at the new and improved BE Web site. Come on...you know you want to!

15 comments:

K said...

You never disappoint, now do you? I think of those years often... and know -- my love will never change. Perhaps grow deeper?

soccer mom in denial said...

Wow. You've captured how I feel with my kids. I've grateful for their adoration but fear losing it.

Glad that Bon Jovi brought you the inspiration.

Kate said...

Wow, that's a great post. I was recently cradling my son who was battling the flu, too.

As I was sharing with her my fear that I will scar my kids for life for one reason or another, I was once told by an older colleague of mine that I probably already have. I think whatever we do there will be the day that they hate us. And it sucks to think about it. But we can only hope that they will come full circle again, and tell us that they love us once more.

Paige said...

bvxGreat post!

The Fat Lady Sings said...

Wonderful post, my dear. And I wouldn't worry about how your daughter will view you in ten years. Love makes all the difference; something I can speak to from experience. She will remember your holding back her hair, and wiping her mouth. Those actions speak of deep love; the kind of love that should exist between parent and child - but doesn't always. So relax, my friend. Hold your daughter close to your heart. The day will come when she holds her own daughter and remembers. Your love will flow through her in a direct line - filling her own child with warmth and security. It passes on. You have created a future of happiness by this one act of caring.

Karianna said...

Beautiful thoughts, Bobita. As always, so eloquent.

jen said...

what a gorgeous post, and an unexpected surprise...

PunditMom said...

Having a daughter (and having just survived my own bout with the stomach flu!), I loved this post. I, too, worry that the all-consuming love my 7-year-old feels for me know will disappear into pre-teen-dom too soon. I know it's supposed to be that way, for a while at least, but I share your thoughts, that I can make sure she will always know my love for her is the same.

Alex Elliot said...

I remember when I first became a mother hearing from a group of moms about the day their kids told them they hated them for the first time. What!!!! I tried and true response according to them is "I'm sorry to hear that, but I still love you". I think I have another year or two before I'll need to try out that line.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I think this could be your best post EVER (and that's saying something because you never fail to amaze me). I don't know how you did it, Bobita, but you captured that heart-squeezing feeling of love for a child and tied it all up with a ribbon of Bon Jovi. Can you see me applauding? 'Cause I am.

Heather said...

Great post. I feel the words you've so eloqently written.

I wish I could bottle up that abounding love for my kids, and their devotion and love for me (right now) and save it for the future when they're not so in love with me.

Kim said...

I love this post! Unfortunately I remember hating my mom and loving her all at the same time. I'm sure my turn is not too far around the corner since my daughter is eleven and I see glimmers of it already. I think it is just one of those rites of passage into adolescence and through motherhood that we all have to endure. And I'm sure it teaches a lesson that is not soon forgotten.

Thanks for commenting on my post today!

Jenn said...

great post - my little girl's not quite seven months old, and we've already begun counting down the days. I don't remember actually telling my mother that I hated her when I was a teenager, but I do remember writing it in a diary...

and to think, such inspiration from Bon Jovi...?! :P

motherhooduncensored said...

That was a great post, even brought a tear to my eye. However I don't think yo have to worry about you daughter saying

“You suck as a mother! You give love a bad name!”

Bon Jovi will be very passe by then and unless someone 'cool' re-released it she would never risk her own cool status by uttering such things. ;)

Jenifer said...

I love this post... I often wonder if my daughetr will still come up to me and say "I love you Mommy." in another 10 years!

ecr... How would I go about getting involved with the blog exchange? It seems like such a fun thing to do....