‘My’ child

In debate with a Lord home educators have been told off for claiming possession of their children. A few thoughts.

Of course my child is MY child. Just as I am HER mother. Not that I own her like a thing, but on a far more fundamental level we belong together, are part of each other.

My husband and I created our child. She is a mixing of our genes. She grew in my body for 9 months – fed and enclosed by my body. Then when she was born I gave her warmth, safety love and breastmilk. At the age of 6 months every fibre of her being had been provided by me and the air around her. Her environment was determined by my body – a newborn baby’s natural habitat is afterall its mother’s body.  That connection is powerful, primeval and all encompassing. Far more so than simple possession. As her parents we love her wholeheartedly – we shape her genes, her environment, her very experiences of the world around her.

And as she is MY child, I am HER mother, we are HER parents and family. Just as we have created and shaped her by our very presence and our love, she has transformed us. As parents we are different people to those we were before. She has taught us, and we have taught her. She shapes our family, remodelling my relationship with MY own mother and father and grandmother. I have changed from the child, to the parent.

This relationship is powerful – one full of love and connections. A powerful relationship, with it comes mind blowing responsibility.

As she becomes less dependent those links lengthen, but they don’t vanish. Just as I am still my mother’s child and my mother is still my grandmother’s. We shape each other, support each other and create OUR family in the process.

As we grow into adults the links lengthen, and as adults we move away from our parents in many ways. But one thing having a child yourself does is bring you back to your parents. It demonstrates the intensity of the mother-child relationship, usually long submerged in an adult’s life – it shows us how much we are shaped by our parents and how as our child transforms us, we once had that effect upon our parents.