"I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month-old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too."
The more I've gone thorugh these ordeals with Lucy the more I realize this is motherhood. As mothers we may not be "Parenting Experts" per se, but we are
experts...for our own kids. We can pour over every parenting book we can get our hands on. We can visit multiple specialists. We can scour the Internet for answers to everything from bed-wetting to job charts to how in the world to get kids to come out of their shy shell.
But when it comes down to it, we must realize that we
are the experts because we're just that...mothers
. No matter how many doctors we go to, it's me (& Dave ) who know when to slow down and figure it out on our own. Whether our kids have developmental delays, social insecurities, physical handicaps or stubborn streaks, we mothers are the ones who know them. We're the ones who tuck them in bed at night and who know how to comfort them after they've had a bad dream. We know what will push them to get straight A's or to go a whole day without whining. We know if they need firm action taken if they're out of line or if just a stern look will do the trick.
It's so overwhelming when you think about it. Although I talk a lot about Lucy, I'm just as passionate about figuring out the other four. Their needs just aren't as "in your face" but I know as their mother I'm the "expert" for all of them. As mothers we're all on a continual quest to be those parenting experts we need to be. How do we teach them responsibility? How do we teach them to really love from the bottom of their hearts? How do we teach them to serve selflessly? How do we teach them to do hard things and to appreciate that they get to have those experiences? And the tricky thing is that the answer is seldom the same for even two different siblings. Each needs totally different tactics to help them on their path. But, we can figure it out if we dig in and put our hearts in it, because we're the moms.
And I couldn't be more thankful for the challenge.