“I’m only one call away…”
There are those songs that have stuck with me, that when they play on the radio they remind me of another time, allow me to pause or help me focus on the present. There are not that many, I can probably count them on my hand. Luckily for my daughters they aren’t heard very often on the radio because if they are ever played I usually turn them up and sing my heart out usually with tears rolling down my face. My daughters know most of these songs because they have become family legends that we often talk about when confronting how absolutely embarrassing I am to them. There is the song my husband and I dance to before he leaves for a business trip, the song I sang constantly to my first baby girl while she was in utero as I was coming to terms with being a mamma to a girl, the song I sang to my middle child every night to help her sleep and a spiritual song that keeps me sane during our hectic morning routine. But there is one song that they don’t know about. It is a song by Charlie Puth that, when it comes on the radio, makes me pause for a moment before turning it up, and singing along. My pause is the recognition that this song is a prayer for my future self; a message to remember about how to be the best mamma I can be.
I’m only one call away
I’ll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I’m only one call away
It is my hope that my girls will always know that I am only one call away, here for them with only love and without judgement. It is my hope that I always remember that a daughter in trouble is not an excuse to ridicule or abandon, but instead an opportunity to love and respect the person they are. While no mother yearns for the 2am phone call from a sobbing daughter, I pray that, should it happen, I am fully present in that moment and able to accept my parenting obligations head-on with love and compassion. In that moment, I will be thankful that I can be her Superman.
As my girls have gotten older, I have heard the phrase “little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems,” many times. This idea sounds very daunting, and usually causes me anxiety about what the future holds for my precious little ladies. However, knowing this has helped me prepare for the bigger conversations and all the “what comes nexts” in my children’s lives. I look back on the early years with my girls when I could easily chase the monsters away and kiss a boo-boo until it didn’t hurt anymore. I was their Superman. I have slowly begun to step off that pedestal, as elegantly as possible, but it still stings when the door slams and I’m told I can’t do anything to help. I know in the long run, it’s better for my girls to know that I am human just like them. Not always having all the answers and never perfect.
I’ve been told that parenting girls is terribly hard and that between their emotions, hormones and tears, our household will likely become a warzone. Depending on the day, my husband and I may or may not believe all that we are told, but at least we have been forewarned. I don’t have a crystal ball about the future. All I can do now is be the best parent I can be and attempt to raise three strong, independent, confident young women. How that serves our household down the road is still up in the air.
When I found out I was having my first daughter, I cried. I always thought I would be a better “boy mom.” Having never had a loving relationship with my mother, I had no idea how I could mother a daughter without it ending in disaster. This was when I started to read every single parenting book I could get my hands on, hoping that I would not repeat the cycle that had caused the major division between my mother and myself. When we found out my second child was going to be another girl, I cried all over again. My initial thought was, “Well, isn’t Karma a b*tch!” For all the trauma I had put my father through with my teenage antics, now I had it coming back to me and multiplied by two. I was petrified, but also resigned to the notion that my little girls were somehow part of my process in healing all of my old wounds. There was no alternative. And then came my third little girl, and a switch had been flipped. I was officially a “girl mom,” and this was a challenge I was determined to successfully navigate. Today, not a day goes by that I do not feel it is an incredible honor to be shepherding these three little souls through life.
Parenting is hard, and there is no instruction manual to reference for every crazy moment. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have witnesses to a fabulous parenting moment, and receive a well-deserved pat on the back. However, most of these moments go unseen. That is why it is important to remember that, as a parent, we know that we have the ability to change the narrative and perspective that we walk around with. Instead of thinking, “Oh my goodness, what were you thinking,” we can instead approach a difficult situation with, “Thank goodness you felt comfortable enough to call me.” Being an active, present parent with your head held high is a personal choice. There will be slip-ups, of course, but how you deal with these slip-ups will set the tone for your relationship with your child, and their ability to lean on you as their Superman.