Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I am a parent. Sort of.

Yesterday, when I walked through the door, my MIL threw herself in my arms, crying "I am your little girl! I am your little girl!" I have no idea what set her off, although she sometimes thinks that I'm her mother...

I am a parent. I know. I get to help wash her hair and help pick out her clothes. I even get to change diapers! :) But a "traditional" parent gets to look at their kid with some sense of hope. He's getting so big! Look what he's learned!

My days are filled with different victories. She remembered how to work a zipper! She called my husband by the right name! She knows what day it is! She know what city she's in!

There isn't any... hope. She's not getting better. She's never getting better. She's lucky just to hold on to what little ability she has...

I won't lie. In the chasm in my heart, the part that is empty without a child, my MIL has taken an edge off of that need, off of that ache. I have someone to fuss over, someone to snuggle with, someone to coddle.

But for everything that she's given, she's also added and edge to that pain. Because of my MIL, I know that I would be a great mom. I can get through the largest tantrums without loosing my cool! I am overflowing with knowledge on how to clean up stinky stains and messes! I have an exceptionally high tolerance for non-sensical songs (and butchered current hits)! I engage in education activities! I plan healthy meals! I make Halloween costumes! (My MIL likes to dress up).

I know I'd be a good parent; I'm already a good caregiver. My MIL is directly responsible for my confidence that I will be a good parent. And knowing I'd be a good parent... makes it a little more poignant not to be one.

1 comment:

squarepeg said...

:( Of course it's very, very different. And you put it perfectly. Small victories, and a stunted future. This of course goes without saying, but you will never regret not having done more, and that is so much more than most people have with their aging parents.

I hope things turn around for you baby wise. You certainly seem to have earned it.