01 June 2007

Lyrical Friday: Influence

I can taste the fruit of Eve.
I'm aware of sickness, death, and disease.
The results of her choices were vast.
Eve was the first but she wasn't the last.

If I were honest with myself,
Had I been standing at that tree,
My mouth and my hands would be covered with fruit.
Things I shouldn't know and things I shouldn't see.

Remind me of this with every decision.
Generations will reap what I sow.
I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I will never know. ...

To my great-great-great-granddaughter, live in peace.
To my great-great-great-grandson, live in peace.
--Generations, by Sara Groves

I could write about more than one song on this CD. I listened to it over and over when I first got it, in 2001. Some other time, I'll tell you about "Painting Pictures of Egypt," which practically became my theme song that year.

But in the midst of the hardest time in my life, "Generations" inexplicably gave me hope. I was mourning my miscarriage and our preceding years of infertility. I was losing hope that I would ever bear a child.

And then this song would play, and I would sing along to the repeated bridge: "To my great-great-great-granddaughter, live in peace. To my great-great-great-grandson, live in peace." And a spark of hope ignited.

I listened to this album almost at random yesterday, and some of the other songs threw me right back to 2001. I am not in that emotional place anymore, and I'm glad of it. But "Generations," well. Here I am in the midst of it. Every decision I make...every knee-jerk reaction to criticize, every complaint, every spontaneous hug, every silly face...they are all imprinted in my little daughter's memory. And, God willing, someday she will have children, and my mothering will most certainly influence hers.

Parenting also gives you more insight about your family of origin. Both Jon and I grew up in (more-or-less) intact families with parents who did their level best to love us well. So many others did not. The two of us started out with this advantage, and that influences so much about who we are and how we parent, what we expect from family life and from each other.

I hope that we can give Katrina the very best of our families' legacies, and the very best of ourselves. I hope that Katrina will give any children she mothers the best of us, and the best of herself. And I always want to remember...despite the routine, the bad days, the sometime-sense that I am not accomplishing anything, that generations could reap what I sow. What do I want that harvest to be?

To my great-great-great grandchildren...live in peace.

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