Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Handle with Care: March Perfect Posts

I haven't participated in Suburban Turmoil / Petroville's Perfect Post Awards in awhile. This post from Wendy and Jason's Excellent Adventure really moved me.

First, I thought it was a beautiful and loving tribute to a woman who obviously played a very important role in Wendy's life, who had a tremendous amount of love for Wendy and her family, and who probably, in many ways, shaped the woman Wendy is today. I'm sure there are many people who take their earliest caregivers for granted and don't pause to consider the many ways they have been shaped and informed by these women (and men) who loved and cared for them day in and day out.

More than this though, I think Wendy offers a heartfelt example that illustrates how important the love and affection of other family members and caretakers can be to our children. I think that for the most part our children know that we love them and intuitively understand that it's our job to love them. But to have another adult who doesn't have to love them actually care about them, show them love and compassion and empathy, shapes them and informs them and helps them become better, more loving, more compassionate individuals.

I know that it's difficult for working parents to leave their young ones and to feel they are missing out on all the milestones and day-to-day changes and development. It's easy to grow jealous of our children's nannies or grandmothers or other caretakers and as a result to push them out of our lives and our children's lives. And I know that as I write this, I have not experienced this on the level that many of you working moms have. My experience with this is subtle...seeing my own children enjoy their grandmother who spoils and coddles and doesn't discipline them and who scolds me for disciplining them more than they seem to enjoy me at times.

But, I tell myself that they need that. They need her and her love for them in addition to the motherly love that only I can give them.

Wendy's post, I believe, perfectly captures and illustrates how important the kind of love a caretaker has for her wee charges can be...how powerful and everlasting an impression it makes; that chosen wisely, your child's sitter or care provider, can enhance the relationship you have with your child and leave a lasting aura of love and affection that surrounds them the rest of their life.


Wendy said...

Wow! Thank you so, so much for your kind words.

I think the experience I had with caregivers over the years made me understand that love isn't a zero-sum game. My brothers and I had all of these people in our lives that cared for us and about us, but yet we never felt like we were lacking for parental love and affection, either. My parents were at every baseball game, every swim meet, every play, every award ceremony. They knew how much we loved them, so it wouldn't have occurred to them to be jealous or threatened by our relationships with our nannies. I try to carry that into my life as well -- there's enough love for everyone, so the more, the merrier.

Dawn said...

Yeah...jealousy is something I struggle with a lot. Not necessarily with my kids, but with friends, my husband, etc.

I always feel like for a friend or someone I care about to care too deeply for someone else lessens their love for me.

Maybe because I'm an only child.

Anyway, I liked and appreciated all that you had to say about the people who have loved you.

Jen said...

It really was a beautiful post--I totally agree!