Sunday, February 19, 2012

No Basta / It's Not Enough

There is a Spanish song by Franco De Vita that has stayed with me for decades. It's called "No Basta", which means "It's not Enough".  It's about parenting.  There's a verse in particular that I think about almost daily, specially now that I am a parent:
"No basta
con creer ser un padre excelente
porque eso te dice la gente
a tus hijos nunca les falta nada"

It says "it's not enough to think you're an excellent parent, because that's what people tell you, because your children never need anything."

People tell me I'm a good parent quite often. And I do feel proud to hear it and even prouder when friends come to me for advice on what books to read or products to buy or classes to take.  But I think of this song every time I hear "you're such a great parent".  Today and thirty years from now the only opinion that will really matter is P's. What's her opinion of my parenting skills?   And even harder is how do I know if I'm doing a good job. Kid's don't give us a report card. They may feel bad about something we do but from feeling to putting that into words and directing it at us is not a skill that comes about until they're in their teens...or 30's on a therapist's couch.

I have a lot of goals for the life I want for P but when I scrape it all back there are two essential qualities I'm trying to build. I want her to have self-confidence and happiness.  I think if I can preserve and build those two characteristics then I haven't stamped out her essence. 

The picture above gave me a glimpse into how P feels about herself.  I took it at ballet this week.  I see both happiness and pride in herself.  I didn't catch her expression during class. It was after, when I was looking through the pictures that I saw it many times. This one picture happens to captivate it all perfectly.  

For this week, this is my report card on how I'm doing as a parent.  I've recently felt I'm doing a horrible job. Being 36 weeks pregnant I'm tired, uncomfortable, a little stressed and frustrated. I'm frustrated I can't do the things I know P needs. My patience is low.  I've mustered up some good days but I've felt it wasn't enough.  And then I saw the picture.  Phew, her essence is still there.  And I feel good about the weekend and week ahead. I've got something to continue to build upon. 


  1. It's always wonderful when the kids are happy! Brace yourself though, the more kids you have the more likely that at least one of them will be unhappy about something :-) I have 3 now, and it's almost a given that if two of them are happy... one takes it upon themselves to be GRUMPY!

  2. LOL! Good to know! will keep that in mind...and bracing myself!