How did she stop the race? Part A

2 Mar

After seeing the very moving and thought-provoking film, Race to Nowhere, I am reminded of the many questions I’d love to ask my mother. One in particular is pressing. How did she ensure that I did not compare myself to my sister or other peers? How did she help me develop my individuality? I want to know the answers for historical and child-rearing reasons.

We all have memories of our childhood and adolescence, of what we were like growing up. But, how honest are our memories? I know I was a mostly happy, well-adjusted child, pre-teen and teen. I had many temper tantrums, but also spells of giggles. Yet,if asked, I think my mother would say that I was very difficult during my pre-teen and early teen years.  But, that is just supposition. That’s the problem, I can’t ask her…I’ll never know what she would say. I wonder if I would have this conversation with her if she was alive. Do you think about these questions and pursue the answers when you do have the opportunity?

I would like to think that my mom was at least, in part, to blame for ability to be an individual. I was enamored with trendy clothes and activities. I had tendencies to follow the crowd.  She kept me grounded.  While I cannot thank her now that I truly appreciate that, I can try to carry on her mothering goals. I will just have to use my own (or maybe inherited) techniques. Accepting yourself and being an individual in the crowd is so important. Perhaps we have to choose the most important messages we wish to convey to our children.  Do we, motherless mothers, know the message that was most important to our mothers? Do we know how to develop similar messages for our own children? And, can we see them to fruition, without our mom’s help?

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