I am in that stage of my existence, where I’m smack in the middle of the circle of life.
I’m still young enough to remember my past…the heartache of a first love, the frustration of bullies, the pressure to do well in school, the absolute terror of trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Of course, the kids think that I was born at 30 and never dealt with the problems they are dealing with. Funny too, because they also don’t believe that the things they are trying to pull over on me have ALL been tried before…BY me.
When I complain to my mother about it, she just nods knowingly and says – in her sweetest, old lady voice – “Frustrating, isn’t it?” And honestly, I can’t blame her or even begrudge her that response, since we both know that I was the exact same way when I was the kids’ ages.
On the flip side, I can see where the kids are maybe making the wrong decisions…or no decision at all…and it can drive me crazy. They ask my opinion and I provide the wisdom of the ages…or at least the wisdom that I have fought hard to win through my own poor choices. And then they ignore me…sigh… I know that they need to gain the wisdom I offer through their own mistakes and regrets, but as a parent, I want to save them the trouble.
And when I complain to my mom, she again nods knowingly and smiles.
Being a parent is tough. And it gets worse as they get older, because you can’t soothe their hurts with a kiss and a boo-boo-bunny. You have to just be there to pick up the pieces as needed, even when you could have stopped the breakage from happening in the first place.
And you have to have the intestinal fortitude to not say, “I told you so.” God love my mother for giving me the best example to follow.
I hope I can continue to respond as she does, because I know, someday, I will get to nod knowingly and smile as the circle of life comes back around.