I mentioned early this week that my mom and her cousin, Kim, have a very special bond. Kim and her family live in Michigan, but that distance has never kept her and my mom from having a great friendship. They are goofy, zany, and crazy when they're together. Maybe it's my ability to suppress events which are emotionally scarring, but it's a minor miracle I'm not currently seeking therapy for some of the events I have witnessed when the two of them are together.
Anyway, both mom and Kim are mothers to one boy and one girl, the only difference being gender order. My mom's oldest is me - a girl, obviously - and Kim's first born is her son, Corey. Mom proclaimed for years that boys are so very different than girls, that y chromosome making them the natural problem child. Soon after Kim's second child, Shelby, was born she tried in earnest to convince by mother otherwise. Gender has nothing to do with it, Kim insisted. It's the second child.
Mom and Kim were convinced during those vital years of parenting they would someday end up as guests on The Oprah Show, most likely at the expense of their trials and tribulations of attempting to raise their second born children. They were pushed to their limits, tested to the point of breaking, faced with stubbornness the likes of which they had not seen before (except in themselves, those of us around them would helpfully offer). That Shelby & Erik made it to adulthood is no small feat, for there were days when I'm sure our mothers were convinced they understood why some animals eat their young.
Does it come as any surprise that I consider these women mentors in my own parenting adventure?
I don't think Oprah's going to be around long enough for my time on her couch.