Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Moms" & "Dads"

I'm an "any way the wind blows" kind of person and so it's no surprise that I've been winging this whole motherhood thing. If you ask me what it feels like to be a mom, I can't really tell you yet because even now 6 weeks later, it still hasn't sunk in. I'm a natural nurturer, worrier, and helper and with Diego I feel that these traits, along with my extreme patience, have increased exponentially. So if that's what it feels like to be a mom, coupled with lack of sleep and sore arms, then I guess I do have an answer for you.
My sister told me that she asked her boyfriend Will if he thought she would be a good mom. He said that she would probably have a lot of rules. She admitted that she was bit offended with his response (this coming from the woman that banned me from eating fast food during my pregnancy, and who won't let Will play his video games unless she is asleep, resulting in 3:00 am video game sessions). Will explained that it's because I'm very casual and don't care. In my head I thought that maybe her original question hadn't been answered. What constitutes a "good" mom? Honestly, I think we'll both be good moms in our own special ways. As long as you care about you child and want only the best for them, the rest is just technique.
Not only have I been hashing out what kind of new mom I will be these past few weeks, but I've also played step-mom for a bit. Javier's 14 year old son, who lives in Peru, came to visit us for a few weeks. He's reached a rebellious age, and he is not getting along with his grandfather in Peru. Javier's original intention was to bring him here so he could see that the grass is not greener on the other side right now. Unfortunately, I think it backfired. Once Mac was actually here, it was a different story. Javier behaved as any parent separated from their child might act; he wanted to make up for lost time.

Unfortunately, he has also been putting in long work hours, which left me to be the one hanging out with Mac during the weekdays. Having a newborn made it difficult for me to be able to focus on the new teenager in the house. Since he is a skater, I took him to a couple of skate parks and drove him to the Haight in San Francisco to buy a new board. Mac is very mellow for a 14 year old skater and we got along fine. However, I keep an invisible line drawn because I am not his mother, so we are more like friends. Sometimes I wonder if he would like me to treat him more "motherly" but it would be awkward to outright ask. Though as Diego grows older, and Mac sees our interactions, the last thing I would want is for him to feel alienated. It's hard to gauge our relationship since we don't see each other much, but I imagine he needs nurturing since his mother only calls him about once a year.

Mac did what he could to plead his case to stay in the U.S. behind closed doors to Javier. If Javier was better off financially, I'm sure he would've entertained the idea. Mac painted a picture of turmoil in Peru which tugged at Javier's heart strings. Unfortunately, instead of helping, it caused Javier to grow angry with his own father. On the day that Mac flew back to Peru, after an emotional goodbye at the airport, Javier's guilt and helplessness as a father increased his anger towards his father for causing the turmoil. In his mind he had given his family everything, including a house, and yet it still wasn't enough to make a happy, peaceful family. While we were struggling here in the U.S., they were given everything, and yet they still couldn't get along.
Javier let his emotions rule while speaking to his father over the phone, and it did not go well. After hanging up, he felt really bad having spoken to his father the way that he did.
He entertained the idea of bringing Mac here next year once he finished high school. I would never say no to Javier regarding his son, but my initial thought was that I was just getting used to being the mother of a newborn, how would I deal with suddenly being a full-time step mom as well?
Things seemed to settle down now, and Javier apologized to his father. I believe that the initial plan to have Mac complete his University in Peru is still on, but continued drama can prove to change things again. Since I'm an "any way the wind blows" kind of person, I take things one day at a time. I can't really imagine if I'll be a full-time step mom a year from now, but then again, I couldn't really imagine being a new mom a year ago either. Time changes everything.