The theme this week for our Song Lyrics Challenge is the parent/child relationship.
Tell you what, I LOVE this weekly Song Challenge because I get to share favorite music of mine and learn so many new songs!! Visit Helen’s site (above) for today’s responses! Some really amazing music every week!
I have had the privilege in my lifetime of parenting many, MANY children. Starting with my younger sisters. when we were growing up. Of course, I had no clue what I was doing and was just a child myself, but to the best of my ability, mother them I did!
Then being pregnant with Pamela, before she was even born, I parented her in my mind (and belly) for that nine months, knowing I might have to give her up to be raised by more available, qualified and less damaged parents.
With Michael, I was 100% in from day one! Though his version of his childhood and mine might be different, I doubt he would tell you that he wasn’t my top priority, always.
Then came a foster daughter and later still, three step children, and I loved them each totally and did my very best to contribute to their lives for the relatively short time I had them (almost 13 years).
For a period of 25 years, as my seva, I was a Professional Childbirth Attendant…sort of like a “doula”…although my certification was specific to assisting a Midwife in a home delivery. I had also taught Childbirth Education classes and studied Pre and PeriNatal Psychology for many years so the kind of childbirth I attended was not limited to home deliveries. Instead of doing only the jobs a Doula will typically cover, I gained a reputation as someone who could “mother the mother” during Labor and delivery, especially when we knew going in that it was a high risk circumstance (health issues, single or underage mom, rape, incest, adoption, and more). I attended more than 250 births.
And the last group of “children” for whom I had the honor of claiming the title Mom, were my clients…hundreds of them (many that overlapped with the category just above because I was included in the births of their babies).
This last category is difficult to describe without misunderstanding but the very short version is this. As a Psychotherapist trained in Developmental Psychology, I believed that all kinds of therapies involve transference*, both positive and negative. And that the nature of the therapeutic relationship is not unlike that of a parent and child. So we acknowledged and used the positive transference that can happen when a high trust level exists between client and therapist. In other words, by contract, and within a very specific and safe structure, I “parented” my clients…or more accurately, I “mom-ed” the “little kid” part of my clients. In some cases, I became their Mom, for a piece of therapeutic work and some, for longer periods of time. There are even a handful with whom I made a life-long agreement to retain that title. I take that commitment completely seriously, as do they, and even though I am mostly professionally retired now and they are complete adults, they remain a part of my family.
My primary Mentor, much like a “mom” to me, used to say “You can never have too many healthy Mom’s” (and Dad’s too). My mother died when I was so young but I have been blessed with many in my adult life.
And now, my son and his two boys have moved in with us and I have the ultimate honor of being Grandma (well, they call me Dammaw). Grandparenting is just parenting with huge benefits…and no, I don’t mean that thing a lot of grandparents say about getting to do the good stuff and then sending them home to their parents for the more difficult parts.
Once again, I am in 100 %!!
I remember seeing a movie when I was very young called “Cheaper by the Dozen”. I decided right then it would be a dream come true to have that many kids! I thought I might be good at it.
Now, I could not possibly count the number of parent/child relationships I have been lucky enough to have, but definitely more than a Dozen.
William Blake said ‘The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom…You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.’
I’ll let you know when I find out….
*transference-the redirection to a substitute, usually a therapist, of emotions that were originally felt, and left unfinished, in childhood
(Photo at the very top is the last family picture before my mother’s suicide. She is second from the right in the back row. I was 2 months pregnant with my daughter, Pamela.)