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        母親永遠成不了父親

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        .A Unique Job

          A father's job is unique.

          If parents had job descriptions mine would read: organize bills, playmates, laundry, meals, laundry, carpool, laundry, snacks, outings and shopping, and laundry.

          The only thing on my husband's description would be the word "fun" written in big red letters along the top. Although he is a selfless caregiver and provider, our children think of him more as a combination of a jungle gym and bozo and clown.

          Our parenting styles compliment each other. His style is a nonstop adventure where no one has to worry about washing their hands, eating vegetables, or getting cavities. My style is similar to Mussolini. I'm too busy worrying to be fun. Besides, every time I try, I am constantly outdone by my husband.

          I bought my children bubble gum flavored toothpaste and I taught them how to brush their teeth in tiny circles so they wouldn't get cavities. They thought it was neat until my husband taught them how to rinse by spitting out water between their two front teeth like a fountain.

          I took the children on a walk in the woods and, after two hours, I managed to corral a slow ladybug into my son's insect cage. I was "cool" until their father came home, spent two minutes in the backyard, and captured a beetle the size of a Chihuahua.

          I try to tell myself I am a good parent even if my husband does things I can't do. I can make sure my children are safe, warm, and dry. I'll stand in line for five hours so the children can see Santa at the mall or be first in line to see the latest Disney movie. But I can't wire the VCR so my children can watch their favorite video.

          I can carry my children in my arms when they are tired, tuck them into bed, and kiss them goodnight. But I can't flip them upside down so they can walk on the ceiling or prop them on my shoulders so they can see the moths flying inside of the light fixture.

          I can take them to doctor appointments, scout meetings, or field trips to the aquarium, but I'll never go into the wilderness, skewer a worm on a hook, reel in a fish, and cook it over an open flame on a piece of tin foil.

          I'll even sit in the first row of every Little League game and cheer until my throat is sore and my tonsils are raw, but I'll never teach my son how to hit a home run or slide into first base.

          As a mother I can do a lot of things for my children, but no matter how hard I try--I can never be their father.

         


        母親永遠成不了父親
          當爸是件無人能替代的活兒。

          如果為人父母有職務簡述的話,我的“職務簡述”將會包括如下內容:管理賬單和孩子們的玩耍同伴、洗衣、做飯、洗衣、安排與人合伙用車、洗衣、準備小吃、安排短途旅游、購物、洗衣。

          我先生的“職務簡述”是在上端用紅色寫出的兩個大字——“樂子”。盡管他無私地給予孩子們百般關愛,盡其所能為他們提供所需,我們的孩子們更多的時候還是把他看作攀緣游戲架、大傻瓜和小丑的三合一。

          我們倆為人父母的風格是互補的。他的風格是持續不斷的探險,在這過程中,沒有人需要CAO心孩子是不是洗手了,是不是吃蔬菜了,或者會不會長蛀牙。我的風格則類似墨索里尼的執政風格。我太忙了,為這CAO心,為那CAO心,哪里顧得上找什么樂子。再者,每次我試圖逗孩子們開心,我總是被我先生比下去。

          我給孩子們買來帶泡泡糖香味的牙膏,教他們如何用牙刷轉圈兒刷牙以免得蛀牙。他們認為那樣刷挺好玩,直到有一天我先生教他們如何漱口——從兩顆門牙間把水噴出來。他們發現這才叫好玩。

          我帶孩子們到小樹林里去散步,兩個小時后,我好不容易才逮住一個遲鈍的瓢蟲放進我兒子的蟲籠里。在他們眼里我是夠“酷”的,直到他們的父親回家,在后院里只花了兩分鐘,便捕獲了一只有奇瓦瓦小狗那么大的甲蟲!

          我勸慰自己我是個好媽媽,盡管我先生能做的事情我做不了。我可以確保我的孩子們是安全的、暖和的、干干爽爽的。我可以排隊等個小時,讓孩子們在大商場里看到圣誕老人——或者第一個排隊讓孩子們看最新的迪斯尼影片。但是我不會給錄像機接上電線,好讓孩子們看他們喜歡的錄像。

          當孩子玩累時,我可以把他們抱到床上,親吻他們,送他們進入夢鄉。但是我無法讓他們頭沖下,那樣他們可以腳踏天花板漫步;或者把他們扛在我的肩膀上,讓他們看飛蛾如何在燈具里飛舞。

          我可以帶他們去看醫生,參加童子軍集會,或者帶他們去參觀水族館,但是我永遠也不會進入荒郊野地,在魚鉤上掛上蟲餌,釣上一條魚,然后把魚用錫紙包起來在明火上烤著吃。

          我甚至可以出席每一場少年棒球聯合會的比賽,坐在第一排吶喊助威,直到我的嗓子喊疼了,我的扁桃體發炎了,但是我永遠無法教我的兒子如何打一個本壘打或者如何巧妙進入一壘的位置。

          作為一個母親,我可以為我的孩子們做許多事情,但是不管我怎樣努力——我永遠成為不了他們的父親。

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