Bragging. Or not.

13 Aug

In doing my morning perusal of blogs and a certain social networking site, I have come across several times, interestingly enough, the subject of bragging.  Is there some sort of cosmic connection that circulates amongst bloggers? I dunno, but it was interesting to me that this post had already started to write itself in my head several hours before coming across all that, and it was indeed about that very subject. Or lack thereof, as it were, since the very mission of this blog is to look back on my parenting-of-small-people, and how I thought I was the shit and how it became the mission of some cosmic force to put me back in my ever-lovin’ place. Except that I still do it. I still think that I am the shit with babies. I mean, c’mon! What is so hard about figuring out something 1/10th one’s size? They eat, they sleep (eventually), they poop, so wash, rinse, repeat. It seriously was that easy for me. I’m not bragging, it just wasn’t that difficult. What I know now is that I had pathetically easy children, and in typical female fashion, have turned this inside itself, to the point that I’m now a little insulted at God, because you know that saying that God only gives you what you can handle? Well, He must not have had a whole lotta faith in me, because I got practically zer0-effort children.

And then ONE DAY it all changed.

For those of you over 40, do you remember hearing from virtually everybody over 40 “just you wait, shit starts falling off after you turn 40” and you just didn’t really believe them, because after all, you practically have military-grade night vision, and you’ve been a runner all your life and not one tweaky joint EVER?

Then you wake up the morning of your 40th birthday, practically blind, and can barely crawl out of bed.

Same thing happens with your children. ONE day they are sweet, and loving, and kissable…and the next, it’s like “who are you and what have you done to my child?’

The most powerful lesson, by far, that I have learned as a parent is to never say ‘never’. My child will never do that. I will never do that. (That is a really fun one. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve justified things I swore I would never do…the list is frighteningly long. I have come to terms with the fact that I have no principles whatsoever. My kids could have told you this years ago.)

I still brag about my kids, but the tenor of my bragging has changed. I realized, not long enough ago, that my kids were people, separate from me, and that every little accomplishment was not because I had guided them in the right direction. In fact, now I can safely say that my kids have accomplished what they have despite any direction from me, and I don’t mean that self-deprecatingly. I tend to still mother them like they are little, and to put band-aids where band-aids aren’t effective. They are the ones who have learned to pick themselves up and brush themselves off, and when I am done being insulted that they don’t always appreciate my brand of mothering, I look up and notice that they have learned another lesson about life and moved on; and in doing so, realize that being a parent to teenagers is as much about them teaching me as me teaching them.

I still can’t help but wish that they would just understand that I have already been through that, and if they would just listen to me, I could save them some serious heartache.

I will never learn.


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