I've always hated smug people. Anyone that even faintly whiffed of Sandi Toksvig or Jeremy Beadle had me running out the door. Yet, I confess, last night I smacked of smug. I'm not talking about sitting around counting my blessings smug, just a sort of self imposed authority on those around me.
I confess...I've reached the age where I sit as an adult and discuss my parents. I sat last night with my husband and we discussed why we thought our parents were the way they were, I looked at my daughter and realized that one day she will do the same. One day, this girl that I gave life to and will gladly die for will discuss me with her friends, her family and make idle suggestions and incorrect assumptions as to why I am the way I am. Now, not maliciously...at least I hope not. Dear God, I hope not. But, at some point in her adult life, she will, as I have, discuss, dissect and give weighted opinion on her parents. The way we all do.
I took my daughter swimming for the first time yesterday. My heart was full as I watched her fearlessly splash and squeal. I wiped her tears a day earlier when she bumped her head, my heart breaking as she sought to catch her breath between sobs. This girl holds the key to my heart. She is my heart. It's painful to imagine that there will be a time when she'll discuss my faults, my annoying habits, and share stories that she remembers from her childhood. Stories that cement our relationship good and bad. She will not remember that I forgot to pack a towel at swim class so dried her with my clothes whilst standing shivering in my own wet suit.
Her memories will of course be different to mine.
The more entrenched I am in parenthood the more I realize one thing - we are all just trying to do our best. That's it. I'm on a wing and a prayer and all I ask when my head hits that pillow is simply that - Please God, just let me do my best. It's hard to fault your parents when you realize just what unconditional love is.