'I don't want you to take Polly to the movies,' Margaret said. 'Every time you go, it's a week before I can deprogram her.'
'What happened to you?' Francis asked, finally fed up. 'You used to be fun. Now you won't even let your daughter enjoy a movie.'
'I don't want my daughter growing up polluted, that's what's happened to me,' said Margaret vehemently. 'I don't want her to have an attention span of a music video. I don't want her to give it up to the first boy who kisses her because that's what she sees on TV. I don't want her weighing 400 pounds because it's easier to take her to the McDonald's drive-through than to fix her a healthy dinner. Everyone is out to get her, the whole world is out to get a little piece of my daughter, and I want to protect her for as long as I am able. And I don't like you undermining me.'
A Mother's Love
As I walking down the aisle of Von's supermarket with Nathan in the front of the grocery cart playing with his favorite plastic dinosaur and Spencer in the infant seat attached to the cart, I looked up and saw a wizened older lady slowly gazing at each one of the boys and me. She smiled and said 'cherish this age, this is the only time you can control what they do and where they go'. I politely smiled back and responded with a begrudging 'Thank you, I'll try!'
I remember thinking that she had obviously forgotten how hard it is to be the mother of preschoolers.
Now that my sons are 22 and 19 I can think back on those years more fondly. With Nathan in America, Spencer in Armenia, and Tom and I here in Russia it is not hard to realize that I am powerless to control or protect their environment anymore. They have to face heartaches and trials without me being there to ward off the offender or to kiss it and make it better.
My advice to moms with young kids would be the same as my advisor's from the supermarket... cherish your kids where they are right now. Later, it really will seem like you have blinked your eyes and they are grown and gone.