Yesterday was March 14th. It wasn’t my birthday. It wasn’t a holiday–that I know of. It was, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary day. On this ordinary day, my teenagers went to school while I kept myself entertained with the day-to-day musings of administrative tasks in the finance-driven world that is my job. I laughed. I ate. I wore stilettos–five inchers to be exact. Still, it was just a normal day–that was about to change.
If you know me, then you know I just ADORE my teens. I know. I know. Teens are attitudy-back-talking-mood-swinging miscreants who should otherwise be left to their own devices…on a different planet. Heck, maybe even another galaxy! I’ve heard all the “teenage year warnings” issued by the Surgeon Generals of Parenthood, cautioning parents to prepare themselves for the fight of their life. These warnings are not without merit. There really are times where your teens and tweens will make you question your sanity or your legitimacy to parent another human being. Like I said, the warnings are not without merit.
Every so often, in the midst of an ordinary day, your teen will turn to you and say, “just because you have boobs, doesn’t make you the boss of me!” (I laughed til I ached). But that’s another post entirely. Oh yes, like I was saying. Every so often, in the face of mundane tasks, routines, dinner and 30-second work to pajama changes, you hear something that literally causes the earth to stand still. It’s the moment where truth is simple and sounds a bit like this:
“Mom, you know what I like most about you? You’re always so happy. No. You’re always joyful. It’s like no matter what is happening around you, you’re always so calm and you’re always smiling. It just makes me feel like I can smile too, even when things aren’t going well. And, like, you’re a cool Mom. You’ve got this unique, funky style. Like, I mean even though you look young, you don’t wear inappropriate clothes that are too tight or too short. You’re not afraid to be yourself. You’re strong and you don’t let us quit or give up. And I really like your hair. It just goes with your whole look and your personality. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is I love you and I’m proud to have you as my mom.”
Yeah. Kinda just seeps right into that mushy, lovey-dovey place doesn’t it? I was tempted to brush those words right into the “process later folder” in my brain, but I didn’t. I resisted that thing I do where I downplay a compliment or ignore it altogether. Instead, I sat. I heard. I smiled. Then I smiled some more and some more. Sometimes, the truth just is.
Parents, our children watch us…intently. They see everything we do and everything we don’t do. They hear what we say about others, about ourselves and about them–or their friends. Whether we think they’re ignoring us or are otherwise clueless to what’s happening around them, the truth is THEY SEE IT ALL and they remember it.
So, I ask you: What is the truth that your child(ren) see? Are you emotion-driven? Compassionate? Disrespectful? Honest? Joyful? Fearful? Spiteful? Passionate? Wise? What is your truth?