Something I just read on the 'net
I just read this comment left by someone on the internet, in response to an Atlantic Monthly magazine article, and I thought it was worthy of reprinting:
"It takes full adulthood to appreciate that one's parents were simply human, often more than a little frightened, but who suppressed this in order to protect their children from that same fear, and in doing so became, however briefly and dimly, someone braver than themselves. As was said in 'Big' we are all 10 years old. Being a parent means you have to, have to, transcend that..."
So true. I pretty much thought my parents knew everything and could handle everything when I was growing up. Seeing them occasionally lose their cool, or be vulnerable, was the scariest thing in the world. I look back and see that they had me and my brother when they were 26 and 29 years old. How the heck did they really know what they were doing? They made mistakes, but it's hard to really blame them. What was the model for them to follow when, for instance, my brother had a learning disability? What did they know of that?
One thing I wish my mom hadn't done was be honest with my brother and me, when we were really little, about certain problems that were going on. Sometimes kids don't have to know everything. Sure, I want my kids to realize that life isn't perfect, but they also shouldn't have to worry about every little adult fear. I think I can be brave enough for that.
That said, there are still ways to capture your own youthful enthusiasm when you are an adult or a parent. I'm still a 10-year-old when I smell cookies baking. Give me cookies! Mmmmm!