Natural Born


walk faster... the children are catching up

Amelia is very efficient mother, good in all the ways I am bad. That’s why I like her as a friend. I don’t feel threatened that her daughter’s braids are tight and straight and that her children always have clean dishes and don’t ever have to use tupperware lids and left over fast food sporks to eat their supper. She’s competitive and kind at the same time, a nuanced mix. But she doesn’t have to compete much with me. I’m in a different race.
Oh who am I kidding. I’m not really even on the track. Or in the stadium. I’m…I’m in the parking lot. In a weathered camper. Selling googly-eye rocks to tourists.

“Step right up folks!”

One thing we have in common, though, is that we aren’t natural born mothers. Some women are. They are patient and mild, maybe religious and gentle, women who co sleep and attachment parent with a toddler secured like a lamprey to each teat. A new baby in the house is a joy, the stress a welcome part of feeling alive. Instead, she is a born career woman, conversationalist, a problem solver, a computer whiz. I’m a born philosopher. That means I like to sit still and tell people things. Or as we’re known today, “bloggers.”

“Now let me tell you what I think about having to wait in line at the DMV!”

So we both worry. We worry how we’re messing up, what our children will write in their memoirs about us. She worries that she doesn’t have enough active involved play with her children.  In mycase, I expect the memoirs to go something along these lines.  “Often, instead of reading us a bedtime story, Mother would lie lifeless on the floor and groan loudly until one of us brought her her nightly mixed cashews and Crystal Lite peach tea.” “Mother would feed us dry cereal out of the box, telling us we didn’t warrant our own bowls and spoons until we were old enough to wash them.”

Blessed be Our Martyred Sister of Laundried Defeat.

Amelia’s children won’t write things like that. But they will have some dysfunction to overcome. That’s the beauty of it. We will mess up our kids no matter what we do. And we will bless them as well, and cause them to flourish in whatever way we are best able.

Amelia’s children will be doctors, executives, professors. Likewise I fully intend to keep my children out of prison. Well, federal prison. But the point is, no matter what your parenting style and shortcomings, if you love them see to their basic needs, they’re all going to be ok- our love is sufficient!


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