Friday, 6 March 2015

I'm no wonder woman

When you're growing up, your parents are larger than life, the fixers of all problems, able to solve anything. I suppose that's how it should be, when you're little you need a super hero that can step in and make everything right for you. Of course it's not true though.

I'm no wonder woman
I have a very clear memory of being about twelve and playing badminton (badly) in the back garden with a friend. My superior badminton skills meant that before long the shuttlecock was wedged in a tree. I couldn't reach it, but it was all ok, I'd get my Mum and she'd be able to get it down. Up until that point, I just hadn't noticed that she wasn't that much taller than me any more, I remember clearly the sudden realisation that she wasn't miles bigger than me, and couldn't reach it any better than I could.

I see it with my children now, at the moment they expect me to be able to fix everything, and usually right now. Of course some of it is just the impatience of youth, but I think that there's also a large part that comes from the belief that our parents can do anything. Of course you don't need to wait to get the right things in to mend something, you just wave your magic parent wand and all is right in the world again.

I don't suppose that there's anything wrong with it really, when you're little you need someone who is just there for you to make everything right again. But, as you start to get bigger you begin to realise that there isn't always an easy answer. It can come as a huge shock when you realise that your parents aren't bullet proof after all. Seeing them cry, or unable to do something rocks your very foundations. Even years later, when you're an adult yourself, being faced with a parent who is ill can really knock you for six.

Right now, I know I'm not wonder woman, but I don't know that my children do. Part of me loves the fact that we're still the ones that they go to to fix everything, and I know that it won't be like that forever. There's another part of me though, that gets frustrated because they expect me to sort things out. I want them to spend more time building the tools to solve their own problems. Of course they will over time, then I'll have to hang up my cape for good, because really, I'm no wonder woman.