I should’ve raised my kids with guilt.
But no, I was trying to be the best mom in the world. I did everything opposite of what my parents did. I told my children how beautiful they were, how smart, how funny. Instilled in them how they had to be respectful of others, yet said how they should never take sh*t from anyone who didn’t return the favor. Made it such that they’d get a shiver of revulsion if they attempted something important in the usual, conventional ways. And encouraged them to not only follow their dreams, but to make them happen. In effect, it was my mission to bring my children up to be independent, free thinkers.
Who knew they’d use those lessons against me!
That they wouldn’t be afraid to leave home. Or be alone. Acquire values that are different from mine. And have the audacity to tell me about it. With passion!
They were supposed to grow up to be independent of the world, not me.
My biggest lesson was that they had to talk about their feelings and do the difficult work of resolving issues, as no one living under my roof was going to sweep things under the rug to fester into a boil. This meant they had to swim through murky waters, with only my promise that the grass really would be greener on the other side.
That teaching worked great when they were little and in-love with me, but is more difficult to bear now that they get to question me too.
Sometimes I really do wish I raised them traditionally. But that would’ve led to a superficial relationship, and that, I cannot take. So, as much as it’s painful at times, I’m really proud that they’re doing the work that it takes to have meaningful, intimate relationships; the depth of which most adults don’t have the first clue on how to achieve.
The photo: no, those aren’t my children. It’s just a tweet that Funk forwarded me on 11-11-17 that I thought was really funny.