Saturday, September 17, 2005

On the Job Training: Motherhood - 2
Where Am I Going?

So, last week I was driving A. to school and pulled into Goddard School. Drove in quietly towards the drop-off circle. I braked suddenly. "What are we doing here?"

I realized my mind was occupied with other things and I was driving on autopilot. For almost 4 years I have been going to Goddard School first and then to work. I admit, there were 2 other occasions where I had pulled into the school when A. was not in the car with me.

A. laughed and wanted to visit her friends. (On a side note, A. is having fun with her new school and says Hannah and Allison are her "best friends", but is really clingy and cries when I leave. I hope this will fade soon, and 4-year-olds are demanding so the teachers cannot always tend to her right then.)

Anyway, at work I related my faux pas to someone else and she said she had done something similar when her daughter was in school and had activities.

Suddenly, flashback to my senior year of high school. I was taking an SAT class at a teacher Mr. C's home on Mondays, Orchestra practice on Tuesdays and tennis whenever that was. My sister and brother had their own schedules.

I remember my mom showing up Mr. C's house instead of orchestra. It was a bit embarrassing because Mr. C mentioned it in class and turned it into a dramatic story; quite mean of him to have a "private" conversation with me in a loud voice. At the time I was frustrated that my mother couldn't keep it straight and she should've been better organized.

Now, I get it!

She had 3 kids with 3 different needs, plus managing a house and part time jobs. This is pre-cell phone and phone card era, so she (and us) could be disconnected and be at the wrong place. I have one kid and still show up at the wrong school if I'm not thinking. So, now I feel guilty for all the hassles that we bestowed on her. Also, I realize mothers also serve as punching bags for whatever the world doles out (i.e., my feelings toward Mr. C were transferred to her).

Is this the frustrating part of motherhood? That your kids won't understand until they are in your shoes? Do I have to wait for 30-something years until A. understands?

Hopefully not. Though I think so.


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