The Secret to Being a Perfect Parent
A man and woman suffered from infertility for two decades. They tried many things to get pregnant with no results. They tried every medication and treatment from modern medicine to tribal ceremonies.
The woman decided to fast in hopes of being able to ask the creator why she could not have children. Friday morning, she kissed her husband goodbye and walked past her yard, through a small trail. She walked until she came to a small opening in the trees. She placed her rug down and sat cross-legged. She wrapped her blanket around her. She sat there for an undefinable amount of time. She could hear squirrels scurrying and birds singing. She focused on her breathing to make the time pass. How long do I need to do this? What if nothing happens?
She needed to focus. She listened, counted her breaths, and waited. The sun began to set, and she couldn’t hear the animals anymore. She had sat for so long that she didn’t think she could move her legs if she wanted to. Her back was tired, but she still sat there. The night didn’t go as fast as the day. She hugged the blanket closer to her. More time passed and she could hear small crunches in the trees around her. She hadn’t brought anything with her besides the small rug and blanket. More time passed and she could feel her eyelids getting droopy. When she opened her eyes, the sun was up. She was still in the upright position. She listened for animals, but they seemed more quiet today. Her mouth felt dry and her eyes were itchy. Still, she sat.
Another day and night passed. She had been here since Friday morning. It would be Sunday morning now. Maybe this won’t work. Why would the creator even want to talk to me? As more doubt filled her mind, she heard a voice ask her, “What have you come to ask me?” She opened her eyes and was met with the most beautiful woman. Her eyes changed color from blue to green. Her skin was flawless and glistened in the sunlight. She sat down in front of the woman and didn’t make any sound doing so.
“Who are you?” the woman asked.
“Surely that isn’t what you wanted to ask me. I have many names. You know me as Mother Nature.”
Tears ran down the woman’s face. “Mother Nature, me and my husband have been trying for 20 years to be parents. We’ve tried everything. Why can’t we have a child? What are we doing wrong? What have we done wrong? All the doctors and specialists we have seen said there is nothing wrong with us biologically and we should be able to have a child.”
Mother nature responded, “You have done nothing wrong. It wasn’t time for you to have a child.”
The woman was confused. “When will it be time? We are ready. I am ready!”
Mother Nature told her, “If you answer my question truthfully, from your heart and I like the answer, I will help you.”
The woman did not hesitate. “What is your question!?” the woman yelled more than she asked.
“What makes the perfect parent?” Mother Nature asked.
“The perfect parent?” she said. How can I answer this question? There is no such thing as a perfect parent, unless I’m not going to be a perfect parent and that’s why I was never given a child. The woman began to cry again. There was no use to answer this question. She couldn’t provide the perfect answer. She would never be a mom.
“I’m sorry Mother Nature. I don’t know the answer. I don’t know what would make the perfect parent. I thought that when I got pregnant and had a child, that I would somehow know what to do. I could read books and listen to the advice of my friends, but every child is different. I’ve never been a mother. Me and my husband do not have siblings. I thought that when my child was born, I would listen to him or her and they would tell me what was wrong. I thought that having a child would give me that magic ingredient that all mothers seem to have when it comes to knowing what each cry means. If I spend every day with my child, I would know his or her cries. I don’t know what the answer you want is.”
Mother Nature responded, “Was your mom a perfect parent?”
The woman was confused with Mother Nature’s second question. She responded, “My mom did her best. I saw her cry sometimes and I would walk up to her and hug her. She seemed tired all the time but did her best to feed, clothe, and love us. I don’t remember anything my mom did wrong, but I remember everything she did right.”
Mother Nature stood up, smiled, and left. The woman got up, grabbed her things, and walked home. She was tired and hungry. All she wanted to do was eat and lay down. When she got home, her husband had food waiting for her. She ate quickly and slept. She decided that she didn’t need to give birth for her life to be fulfilled. She would live her life being a good wife and good citizen.
A few months later, the woman was sitting on the couch reading a book and got a little lightheaded. She yelled for her husband and within an hour, they were being greeted by a doctor.
“Congratulations. You are pregnant. You will need to have an ultrasound to determine where you are at in the pregnancy.”
The woman’s husband hugged her and kissed her face all over. In that moment, the woman pictured Mother Nature’s smile in her mind and smiled herself.
I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to do my best.
Jennifer Upton is a student at Turtle Mountain Community College.