Wednesday, 27 February 2013

As She Grows

I don't remember much of my childhood. My brother seems to be able to summon up more day-to-day things from so long ago. Some people have vivid pictures of their early existence. I dated a guy who could tell me how tall he was at various ages in his life.

It fascinates me how each brain uniquely prioritizes memory "filing". I love to read articles about the human mind. How the brain works and new discoveries on thought processes. The affects of surroundings and our mood on our thinking. How our memory works.

My memory seems to just hold random, useless snippets from my childhood. Like standing in the corner at the neighbors after convincing my brother to drink poison. Or having a teacher laugh at me. Or peeing my pants on a busy merry-go-round. Or having to leave a Christmas party because my brother was having a tantrum. Hmmm, it seems my hippocampus, amygdala, and whatever other parts of my brain were involved, decided that I would much rather remember negative events. I do recall the occasional joy, like bowling with my dad or hearing him explain the effects in a movie (pre-digital). Or biking to the zoo with my grandparents (and then asking why they didn't get a seniors discount when it turned out they weren't seniors yet).

I wonder how many memories will surface as I watch my daughter grow? As I see her discover new things. As I see her face fears, rejection, pain. I imagine that some of the re-surfacing will not be pleasant. I will probably have some experiences I will enjoy reliving with some warm, fuzzy feelings, but many that I will simply not appreciate. I hope my parenting helps recall more of the positive events from all my subconscious has compiled.

The key will be to not let my own long-time-ago experience be a sole dictator on how I react. I can't filter her life through my own pain and regrets. I can't assume her happiness will come from avoiding everything that caused me pain. I need to be open to who she is, what she enjoys, who God created her to be. I am not to live my own childhood vicariously through her. I am to facilitate her living her own childhood. Of course, I'll try hard to help her be confident and secure and I'll really pray she never has the anxiety I experienced.

I know parenting will be a learning process. I will discover reasoning behind my parents' choices and shortcomings. I find I am able to let go of more things from my upbringing as I realize how many factors come into play in taking care of a little ones every need. Worries like money and safety. Sleep-- or lack of it. Media influence and current trends. Family input. Time... It's not an easy task. Every day the decision has to be made to decipher what's important and let the rest go. And no matter how wonderful of a parent you are, your child will misinterpret your intentions somehow.

I know my parents loved me and being a mother myself has helped my love for them grow. I hope I can reward them with a close relationship with their grand daughter. Hopefully they won't indulge her ears with too many of my shenanigans.

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