The Mama in Me

April 28, 2009

It takes balls to write this, ironically. But, being a daddy and mama is a tough fight and a constant balancing act. I know that by Carla’s death ( her life) that I have become the best daddy that I have ever been. I understand the coin no matter which side it comes to rest and it spins often when she wakes at 645am from her big girl bed asking to ‘hold daddy’ and when I have to lie there and perform our “Hallelujah tickle” song as the final part of our 20 minute night-night routine, before she finally closes her eyes around 8pm.

I find myself frustrated, as most parents do at times; yet, in my frustration I feel the father in me wanting to teach a lesson in every moment to make her wiser, a faster learner, more independent and I feel the mama in me wanting to nurture. Nurturing is not normal for me and it is a stretch at times. I understand nurturing and have done so in relationships but it is work for me. I believe mothers have a larger tank than fathers when it comes to nurturing and I can see my tank warning light pretty quickly; but lately, I have felt it more, like maybe I have some invisible estrogen drip hanging above my head and entering a main vein. I baked a cake and muffins this week, on separate days; I think I enjoy a tea party more than Linen; I took her shopping today and spent way too much because stuff was just “too cute”, yeah… “too cute.” I watch where I drop that one. I can just see myself on  the first green and telling my buddy, “Those shorts are just ‘too cute.’” The other night we were at some friends’ house and I noticed that when I was around the mommy, I was more keen on being a nurturer and involved with the “little necessities” and when I was with the daddy, I was more laid back and disengaged. When I left, I thought about all the single parents, mostly moms that have to be mama and daddy all day and all night. Even stay at home parents have the ability to say, “Take your kids!” or “I’m going to a spinning class.” as soon as the counterpart walks in the door. It’s tough being both, all the time.

I often wonder but always feel that Carla would be doing better than I am. I would never want her to wear the weight of this grief but I know she would be better at that too. She was strong. I can’t wait to tell Linen that her mom drove herself to the hospital IN A SNOWSTORM and then delivered straight-up no drugs. Not that I can imagine delivering a child, even with my invisible drip, but I would have asked for an epidural as soon as I walked in the door, and I would have punched that annoying nurse. Carla would be so much fun as a mama. In fact, they would probably be at the lake right now, both black as night with their beautiful skin. I’m like a little nerd running around making sure she’s covered in sun block 3000. I know that Linen needs a mama and a dad, and I believe she’ll need more of one in different stages of her life. I think now, she needs nurturing and maybe that’s what she’s creating in me, but I am not looking forward to the days when she has a two digit age and needs more of a dad. License? Make-up? Dating? (I only include this one because 35 is a two digit number). But, I know that she does need a dad that shows her real love, real worth, real confidence because this world has it out for little girls, especially in our culture- our media and marketing and our “men.” It is my number one prayer after her meeting and knowing Christ that she is independent and holds her stock in nothing in this world. I can only hope that I have enough daddy and mama in me to make her that way and I hope that Carla is proud of the mama in me.

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