Thursday, October 7, 2010

The part I really didn't understand......

That statement of "just wait until your a mom" that I heard over and over again probably applies the most when I think about the bond I have with my son.

I used to always say to parents, "you are the expert on your own child". I believed this, but the level to which that has rung true for me with my son is at such a deep level that I could not have understood before being his mom.

The other day, I caught myself saying the exact statement I heard so many times.
"She doesn't understand because she is not a mom."
You can substitute parent or dad for the previous noun as well. The point was, this person I was referring to held a bachelor's in child development. While she had very little actual experience with children, it was a very similar situation to the one I had been in with parents at the school where I directed and taught.

So I have spent the last week or so really thinking about what I meant, why I ultimately believed my current statement to be true and what it was about being a mom that holds so much weight in regards to understanding children, children's issues and parenting. This soul searching was the least I could do, I felt like I owed it to the poor child development major for whom I inflicted this statement upon after despising it myself for so many years.

I think one thing that it comes down to is the relationship I have with my child personally and hopefully the relationship each parent has with their own children. No one understands his language and gestures the way his father and I do. No one sees every little expression he makes every second of the day. No one stares at just him when he is seeing something new for the first time. No one else can hold a completely non verbal conversation with my child and know exactly what he is thinking.

I know all the parents out there have wanted to scream out loud at one time or another, "Did anyone just see how amazing this child is?" or "Isn't he the funniest, most beautiful child you have ever seen?" We all now the joy of witnessing our children do something for the first time ever. Or the love and satisfaction you feel when you can meet your child's needs so completely they melt into your arms.

I have to tell you this relationship with my child makes me a better teacher, friend, and person. It makes me look at all children differently. It makes me notice more the little things all children do to communicate with us. It makes it impossible to hear another child cry and not want desperately to be there for them. It makes me even less tolerable than before to the injustices against them.

And I as much as I would have said that I understood all this before I was a mother, it was on an intellectual level that I understood it, not on the emotional, hard core, straight to your soul level on which I now GET IT.