Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Essay on My Life

Right now I am working my way through the paperchase phase of our adoption.

As part of this process, I've been asked to answer a Parent Questionnaire. It seems like this questionnaire is designed to give some one who doesn't know you a complete description of you. Who you were, who you are now and who you hope to be.

Its an interesting exercise, trying to sum up all of your experiences. To find out what makes you tick. You look at your past remebering the events both good and bad that shaped your outlook on life. You wonder what would you have done differently, if anything. I might have forgone some forgetable wardrobe choices and hairstyles but that is it. Everything that has happened, no matter how difficult or painful, is etched on my soul. These events have made me who I am today.

Then they ask you about what you want for your child. What experiences you had growing up do you want your children to have. What do you not want them to have. You of course want to share all the really cool things that you did, saw and experienced with your kids. And you want to sheild them from all the bad stuff.

How would you want your children to be like you or not like you? These children do not share your DNA. They do not share that fundamental part of you. They are not going to have your eyes or your height. All the ways that they will be like you will be learned from you, from how you act and what you say. Wow. So this makes you think about what kind of values do you want to impart on your children. What passions and joys do you want to share with them.

These are the questions that parents think about for their child's whole life. These are the questions that keep you up at night. They are the essence of what makes you a parent. There are no easy answers. How am I supposed to come up with an answer and write it down on a piece of paper?


Kate Coveny Hood said...

Unlike the first time, you now have a daughter to inspire you. I imagine that if I had to answer those questions after I had my first baby, I would just fix him in my mind and my responses would just come.

You will write something wonderful.

anymommy said...

We struggled with those questions so much. When we read the documents over now, it feels so contrived, but we really tried to answer from our hearts. There's no easy way, just dive in and start writing.

Maggie, Dammit said...

This post is awesome. I'm gonna be thinking about this all day.

Anonymous said...

What a thought-provoking question. I think, for me, my desires for my children are constantly changing as they and we go through different stages of life. Some things I thought about during their infancy now seems insignificant compared to things I think about now - and I'm sure the dynamic will continue to shift.

Also, every child is different. My first child is very shy and anxious - for her I wish a life where she feels comfortable and strong. I strive to provide that environment for her until she can find it for herself.

My second child has food allergies - for her I wish for a life with knowledge of what her body can and can't handle. I try to teach her of those boundaries every day, so that as she gets older, her choices won't be so hard.

It would be so hard to make a blanket statement, because I didn't know those things until I knew THEM! Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Kate. Use Bunny for your inspiration as to what you want for your kids. She's a vivacious, outgoing, and very happy little girl due you the influence you both have had on her.Being the writer you are, you will come up with something fabulous.