My daughter is three years old and I'm already certain raising a girl is more complicated than quantum physics. I look at myself and see a nervous breakdown in progress and I fear that I will pass on all my crap to my beautiful little girl.
It's hard to know where I end and she begins. Is it my fault she loves sweets and french fries? Does she not like her two piece swimsuit because she already has a body complex? Does she eat her boogers because she's developing an eating disorder? Do I tell her she's pretty too often? Do I tell her she's smart often enough?
How do I keep from screwing this kid up? A therapist once said to me "You can't give your children what you don't have." She was referring to my mother's inability to pass on to me the self-esteem she so sorely lacked. That statement haunts me because I wonder about all of my failings and how this might be my legacy to my daughter. If only I could go to the Personality Store and purchase a few things. I'd pick up a gallon of Self-Esteem juice, a box of Happiness flakes, and a cart full of Love Your Body vitamins. Sadly, what I lack I can't purchase so I continue you to work on myself in an attempt to work on my toddler. It's unfortunate for both of us that in her most formative years her mother is in the throws of a mid-life crisis. I'm still working out who I want to be when I grow up and what I want out of my life. On the plus side, I may have some good advice to offer her in thirty years when she has her own identity crisis since she most surely will, having witnessed mine during the aforementioned formative years.
On the flip side of this is my husband who doesn't seem to have any of these concerns. It's as if he believes the only thing he has to pass on to our children is his greatness. Not lacking in self-esteem at all, he is a pillar of certainty. When I'm mad at him I'm quite sure he will ruin our children with his arrogance and inflexibility, but when I'm not mad I'm hopeful he will give them what I cannot...an absolute belief in ones self. Oh, to be a man and completely obtuse.
My compulsive worry and fear for my children is probably what will leave the biggest imprint. I'm sure that's why so many people sit in a therapist's office discussing their mothers. a mother's love is boundless and knows no boundaries. Mother's make the world go round, but they throw in some crazy to give it pizazz.
I comfort myself with the knowledge that I love her truly and I'm doing my very best. Surely this will counter act some of my crazy, but I've started a therapist savings account for her just to be on the safe side.