It’s tough being an only. There are no brothers or sisters to share Blossom’s days. There are no sibling fights, compromises and the daily routine of a home with more than mom and dad. She does the best she can without siblings, but it’s hard. Our neighborhood has “moved on”. It’s the same neighborhood where we raised the pack and the moms and dads stayed but the kids are all gone. Consequently kids are an endangered species. Her school is parochial, new and lightly populated from kids all over town and none live in our neck of the woods.
Blossom is growing up a child in a world of grown ups and it makes her different than her peers. Sadly, they don’t get it and neither does she. She has learned and mastered the art of sarcasm and innuendo because she hears it daily in conversations with and between us, her parents. Often she’s practicing her “skills” and comes off being snarky, rude or confusing. She knows what she means but they don’t. She is also burdened by the fact that she was a precocious baby/toddler which has followed her into being a very smart kid. All of this alienates her from the rest because she’s different.
It’s tough raising an only. I knew how to raise a pack of kids. Blossom came after the pack grew up and moved out, so I knew kids playing together (fighting), entertaining each other (fighting) and, oh yeah, fighting. They were learning to relate to (win) and hold their own (not get caught winning and fighting) around kids their own age by being with them (enduring) 24/7.
Now I’m the one who plays (fights), entertains (fights) and, yep you guessed it, fights with my kid and some days it’s fun and rewarding and others it wears me out. I raised the pack when I was very young, strong and able to sleep at night. The last of the them was born when I was a mere sapling of 22 years. My only came 20 years later when I was 42, slowing down and contemplating a purchase from the scooter store.
I benefit from having the experience of already raising kids to fully grown and know the nuts and bolts, but now I’m learning to parent one day at a time because raising Blossom as an only is a completely different experience from raising her with a pack. It’s like putting her under a microscope and actually seeing everything she says and does as opposed to just breaking up fights and and send her off to play with one of the pack. There IS no pack.
I’m sad for her and it sucks because it seems like she’s missing out on so much. I’ve “been there done that” when it comes to playing the run around mom and I don’t want to do it again. Practice here, game there and neither on the same side of town. I find myself wanting to denying Blossom opportunities because I don’t want to make the effort.
“Honey, basketball is enough isn’t it? Right?”
I’m tired, I’m 51, menopausal, and frustrated so I tell myself that’s a good excuse but know it really isn’t. No one can run a guilt trip like a Mom and who better to run it on than myself?
“Did you really just say no? Oh! You are the worst mom EVER! Now go buy her some ice cream!”
I’m still a mom and still have to take care of my kid. I see Blossom hurt and sad because she is teased or judged
about having old parents, (hey I didn’t buy that scooter!)
about her bold bluntness (it’s not her fault she has grammar Nazi mommy and you did forget the period at the end of the sentence),
or about her awkward shyness and her quirky attempts to fit in (come on, doing it her way is the only way, right? right?).
She is being formed around and has adults as “peers”, (did I mention we fight?) which is stacked on top of the normal things kids are mean about. I want to take on the role as the big sister who goes to the playground and beats up the bully picking on my little Blossom. But I’m not her sister, I’m her Mom and I have to handle it like an adult. (Dang it!) I struggle with teaching her how to react and what to do if she is bullied. (throw a right hook – no that’s not right)
When I decide to take a step back and take a deep breath or two I have to say the best thing I can do is teach her to be the best little Blossom she can be. She is unique and different and I need to keep encouraging her so she knows she is special and very lucky because she doesn’t have to “share” us with the pack. She can lord it over them…no, wait wait, um, she can experience something they didn’t because she has our undivided attention where they had to compete for it. There. That’s better.
As Master Po said to Caine I must have “patience grasshopper” and remember I didn’t buy that scooter! I’m the parent of a 9 year old and she needs to be a kid so I need to take a step back and relearn those run around mom skills and let her be a kid. Suck it up and sign her up! It’ll do her a world of good and when she finds some new friends I’ll win by getting an adopted pack under the roof once in a while so I don’t have to spend so much time fighting with her.
We will both come out winners. I can be the mom and she can just be Blossom the kid.
Pour Your Heart Out at “Things I Can’t Say”
and Weekend Link up at “Write on Edge”