walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

one final comment: on mothers screwing up their children

A few weeks ago (and I may well have blogged about this already), I had a conversation with my friend J. about Parents Being Unfair. I think I just said this flat out, in response to a particularly ridiculous tale involving his mother and some photo albums, and another one about his mother and a condo in London. I may have expanded on it, even, saying that when parents go out of their way to treat all their children alike, it's unfair (because, after all, each one is different) and when they treat their children differently it's unfair (not being, after all, the same).

I _fully_ recognize that this is an impossible situation for parents and children alike. I didn't create this reality. I don't approve of this reality. I'm just saying, it's reality.

J. expressed some interest in how I felt about this as a parent. I said, I'm doing the best I can and I don't expect forgiveness, justification, rationalization or anything else for me on the part of my child or children. I may have further added that something along the lines that it's one thing to mess with someone; it's a whole lot worse to insist that they like it or approve of it.

Decades hence, when my children are going, Mama, you were a _wreck_ and you really did a number on us, my primary aspiration is to be able to say, Sugarplum, I know it. And I'm sorry for it. My one hope is that you will do better by yours when you have them.

I hope to be very entertained by what specifics turn out to be identified as the Real Problem -- and what will in that age be proposed as an alternative.

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