I spent a couple of hours last night and today reading through the seeming inexhaustible dot.com critics, bashers, and pontificating bloggers voicing their thoughts about this young girl's life. I also read more than a few pre-publication spews and rants about Lynne Spears book, Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame & Family in a Tabloid World; and they all pretty much fell into this one gargantuan online category: "Everybody Knows This Woman's Done Everything Wrong Just Look at Her Kids."
You know what I think? Shut-up, already. If I've learned anything over the past twenty+ years of parenting it's this: "Anybody" who thinks they know "Everything" is just "Somebody" who has yet to go through "Anything" with their own flesh and blood (or equally close loved ones.)"
Take me for instance.
In 1981, I watched the child from The Pit of Despair--and his name wasn't Brad. Drat. I watched this kid and all the while I thought, "I will NEVER put up with a kid like this when I'm a mom."
In 1985, I observed a slightly-overweight mother of two-toddlers walk into a Pizza Hut where I was scarfing down slices with my college chums. My jean size? A 9/10. My brain size? 0.09. Yes, I formed the following thoughts while watching her, "Geez, how hard is it to keep your post-pregnancy figure?"
In 1996, I was the mother of an eight, seven, and one-year old. Patrick, the baby, covered me in slobbery wordless "love you, Mommy!" kisses and Kristen and Ricky fought to hold my hand and snuggled up so close to my side that you couldn't have wedged a Power Ranger action figure between us. And I thought, "It's always going to be this good--this easy--and this close between all of us."
Eight+ years later, "Anything" tapped on my front door. (I shouldn't have answered!)
"Anything" is humbling.
"Anything" gets your eyes focused on the home-front rather than the relationships of those around you.
"Anything" sets you back on your rear and keeps you down on your knees.
"Anything" is the Great Equalizer.
"Anything" teaches you the Hard and Fast Rule of Everything Mothering: Outlast em'!
And that's exactly what I thought as I read these words last night, "Around here, everyone has the same focus," Jamie Lynn tells OK!. "The focus is family, and that's a good way to live." "Mama has been here a bunch," she said. "She wants to see the baby all the time. She told me the doctors are always going to be real strict and tell you, `Don't do this and don't do that.' Just follow your instincts. You're the mother and you know what your baby needs. That's what I've done and it seems to have worked."
You know what I think?
Good for you, Lynne Spears for outlasting your girls and sticking with them through their choices & your Mama actions--good and bad, private and excruciatingly public, well-received or despised.
Good for you, Jamie Lynn for choosing to step up when you could have easily (and with a lot less intimidation, no doubt) checked out of the consequences of an unplanned new life.
Good for you, mother and daughter, for closing ranks and dealing with "Anything" together as a united family front.