I’m not the same person I was twenty years ago. I’m a mess. I show up at school functions with two different shoes on my feet, and end up at grocery stores with my shirt on inside-out. Although I’m not a drunk I can empathize with seeking an escape from the constant demands of life and motherhood even when all I ever wanted was a family.
I had four daughters in the prime of my life. I gave them my best years (geez I sound like a wrinkly old geezer shaking my bony fists at the heavens). Nothing of course prepared me for motherhood, not all those years of babysitting, not my own mother’s spittled advice, not even a Master’s degree in counseling, or Tony Horton’s Beach Body boot camp double DVD set. For shame.
I imagined motherhood to be a breeze with my arm around my beloved well-spoken child, strolling along the beach, discussing her loves, her fears, her dreams, etc. Ahhh.
The reality I got was my eldest hiding the fact that she had her first period, which apparently sent me into full-throttle I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening mode and I put my daughter in the car and drove her to a remote location, basically locked her in, and asked her why in the hell she wouldn’t include me in such a momentous moment I’d been anxiously waiting for. Her nails scratched at the passenger door the whole time.
Needless to say I must learn to communicate better with my babies before a) I die of a coronary, or b) they go off to college. I’ve had more time to think about what’s important. Here’s my attempt to impart some wisdom which I realize they may hear now, with the possibility of understanding later.
Five Truths I Think Kids Should Hear:
- It’s not all about you, contrary to popular belief. The quicker you realize this, and change your mind about this, the more free you’ll be relating to and enjoying other people around you.
- You are not the sum of your parts. A hyper focus on your perceived physical flaws robs you of being the you you were meant to be.
- Say no thank you sometimes. You can people-please yourself right into a psychotic break or a dangerous situation.
- Try something hard. You’ll never get stronger if you don’t break a “bone” or two.
- Ask for help when you need it. Pride does come before a fall, and if you look at it in another way, the helper is probably stoked about being helpful, as long as you don’t abuse this power that comes with humility.
[What do you think is paramount to teach your kids before they crawl out into the outer expanse of the universe, besides the obvious ones we learn in Kindergarten about sharing our toys and putting them back when we’re done playing?]