Instead, I've had sort of a parenthood "baptism by fire" and didn't have a lot of time to think about a lot of this stuff in advance--I was desperately hoping that D'Assise would someday be my child, but I was quite convinced it wasn't going to happen. In the past two years, I've had to do a lot of learning on the go and answer a lot of questions on the fly (How do you actually punish your kid? What is a reasonable bedtime? Should D'Assise be a vegetarian? Should I at least make him eat his broccoli?).
I laughed when I saw this Onion article,"Expectant Parents Throw Some Values Together At Last Minute":
"With their baby daughter due to arrive any day now, expectant couple Drew and Francesca Mott have reportedly been scrambling this week to cobble together a working system of ethical principles and moral values they can pass along to their first child. “We kept putting off building a set of prescriptive personal beliefs, but now we’re down to the wire and still haven’t hammered out firm attitudes toward right and wrong, self-discipline, generosity, table manners, personal integrity, or any of that,” said the soon-to-be father as he and his wife quickly attempted to slap together a coherent worldview encompassing the basic nature of mankind, one’s obligations to others as human beings, and what defines a well-lived life."
Over the past two years, most of my thinking about what kind of parent I want to be happens in the brief seconds before my head hits the pillow at the end of the day. But as a kid, there were two parents that I idolized in movies: Miss Honey, from the movie Matilda, and Elizabeth James, the Mom from The Parent Trap. As a young '90s kid, they were my definition of #MomGoals.
|Miss Honey, badass extraordinaire. (image source)|
|Elizabeth James, the one and only. (image source)|
Let's talk about Miss Honey for a second.
|Miss Honey (image source)|
Recently I realized that both Miss Honey and Elizabeth James are single mothers as well. Ok, at least until the very end of the Parent Trap, when (spoiler alert!) Elizabeth James falls back in love with Nick Parker. Miss Honey is even an adoptive single Mom like me.
I started asking myself what made these two prototypes stand out so clearly in my head as a young girl, and I think what really impressed me as a kid was how much time they spent with their children (alright, shipping your daughter off to a six week summer camp on another continent notwithstanding) and just how much fun they had together. There's a line at the end of Matilda after she gets adopted by Miss Honey that I really love: "Matilda found that life could be fun, and she decided to have as much of it as possible."
Ignoring the fact that I seem to have questionably formed my parenting philosophy solely through '90s kids movies, spending quality time with D'Assise and just having fun together are definitely two of my parenting goals. Even though being a single Mama can be really, really tough sometimes, life with D'Assise has been a lot of fun. If E.E. Cummings is right that "the most wasted of all days is one without laughter", I don't think I've wasted a single one the past two years. Even when I was sick with malaria a few months ago, D'Assise tried to cheer me up by surprising me with mustache disguise glasses on, which made me laugh out loud. We have tickle wars and dance in our pajamas while brushing our teeth and speak in different accents to make each other laugh.
In July, we'll be celebrating two years together as family, and I'm taking D'Assise to see the ocean for the first time on the Kenyan coast to celebrate (!!!) I may not have being a parent completely figured out (still haven't decided if I should make D'Assise eat his broccoli, plz help...),
...but I think have this having fun thing down alright.