My middle daughter is learning to drive. Let me just say, I would trade potty training with driver’s training any day. She is a good driver, she is just a new driver. Since my children have started driving, I have become a much kinder driver. I used to get frustrated with slow drivers. Now I imagine it is one of my babies taking it slow and trying to be safe. I would also honk at any wrong doing. Now I try and wait until there is real danger involved and not honk just because I think some one is in my way.
This, unfortunately, has been a pattern for me. Before I had children, I thought I knew how to be a mother. I thought I had fantastic and new ideas to make the job easy. After all, I was a nanny. Didn’t that count for experience? A few weeks of late nights and no rest, and I soon realized that I had no idea what I was doing and that the job was far from easy. You would think I would remember this moment of humility when potty training came along. But no, I thought I would know exactly how to train them. I was wrong once more. None of my girls learned the same way or at the same age how to use the toilet. Looking back, I was a spectator in the whole thing, not at all an instructor. They stopped wearing diapers when they wanted to.
I can continue this commentary until about four years ago when I finally realized something. Ready for it? I don’t know jack. I know, it is an epiphany. I am now living my life one day at a time and most days one hour at a time. I now sit back and learn from the people around me. Sure, sometimes I learn what not to do, but I still view it as a learning opportunity and not a moment for judgment. Motherhood has made me much more graceful. I understand and see how hard this life can be. Most of us know when we blow it. We don’t need it pointed out. What we do need is someone cheering us on. We need people encouraging us that it will be okay.
So next time you are out and some young person is driving way too slow, or you need to sit through a light because she was afraid to make that left turn, lay off the horn. Maybe, even, give a thumbs up and a big smile.
Because you don’t want to be honking at me and my girl. I will flip you off. Ya, I am graceful like that.