Sunday, May 9, 2010
Happy Mother's Day
Do we really need to hold everything together, and can we?
Indian Buddhist teacher
As I type the quote the computer selectively places a green squiggly line under the “ I should” and I have to smile at the connotation. There you go again, girl, saying the should word.
As a mother, the should is a like a mantra. You should is a more liberated delivery than you must or you need to. And yet, it still sounds like judgment day every time it comes out of my mouth.
As a mother, when one of my kids is in need of advice or is in some sort of crisis mode I have this curious inner discourse that goes something like this:
“ What would my mother do? “ like the ebullient WWJD Jesus bracelet. I look at the situation, imagine how my mother would respond and basically try to do the extreme opposite. I’m 55 years old and still rebelling against my mother’s parenting.
My mother really did believe that she could and should and would hold everything together by simply telling you how something is done, her exact way, do it immediately and that’s the end of the story. She believed that whatever situation she had been through, by simply telling me how she blew it; I would avoid the same mistakes. “ Carol, that’s what parents are for. To tell their kids what is right and wrong. Learn from my mistakes. If anyone did stupid, I did stupid. Don’t do stupid.”
Now that my kids are grown up, I am beginning to see her point. I mean, wouldn’t it be a perfect world if your kids listened to all your advice, did exactly what you said, because you are wise and have been through it and know how it’s done?
Except that this perfect world would consist of a bunch of safety clones who never got the opportunity to get their fingers burned in the flames of first hand experience.
So, I will continue to repeat, “You do not need to hold everything together.”
Again and again, and feel the heady euphoria that begins to creep in as I begin to really believe it.