Mothers tend to freak out over everything. It is in our very nature as mothers. Huge things, we’ve got on lock, but smallish things and we go into a full-fledged panic. I’ve yet to run across a mother that operated differently. So I spend a fair amount of time reading about how to be a better parent. I’m an awesome parent but I strive for perfection. I understand that I will never get there and that is fine. It’s in the striving. Everything is in the striving. Life IS the striving. All this research means that I’m freaking out over whether or not I should have structured crafts or just put out supplies. My children are too young to even do art projects so this might be slightly premature. Or is it? *panics*
I sometimes get so caught up in worrying that I’m a lazy parenting for not having introduced finger painting yet that I forgot what this whole thing is really about. I’m trying to raise a decent human being. I’m trying to help my children along on their journey of becoming who they are and who they were meant to be. And I haven’t done my job if they haven’t learned the following:
1) All people deserve respect. I don’t even need to explain this, hopefully.
2) The world is scary and beautiful. It is awesome and awful. It’s mean and gross and there are some people out there that will demonstrate to you the very worst traits of humankind. They will be mean to you. Bad things will happen. WONDERFUL things will happen. And it’s all going to be ok.
3) You get what you give. If you give awesomeness to the universe, you will get awesomeness back.
4) Stand up for what you believe in. It will hurt but you won’t be able to live with yourself if you don’t. You might even look like a jerk and people might hate you but heroes are people who do things with the understanding that they will never get any credit for them and might get hated for them, even when they are the right things to do and it should seem like an obvious, no-brainer.
5) Arrested Development is a great show. It was a crime that it got cancelled. A CRIME. But we can all get real excited about the new episodes coming up in May.
6) There is almost never black or white. 97% of things fall in the gray area.
7) MY world revolves around you but THE world does not. Don’t be a jerk.
8) The world is FULL of Jackies. Don’t be a Jackie. Be a Donna. ALWAYS be a Donna.
(I use “That 70’s Show” in many of my examples. There is a lot of wisdom in that show. I think we can also agree that I watch too much tv.)
My point is that Donna is great. She is tall. She towers over most of the boys and that is fine. She picks a boyfriend that is good to her. She is super smart and cool and funny. She knows it. I’ll just put her qualities in list form to save time (a list within a list? GET OUT!): Kind. Un-fussy. Real. Fun. Vulnerable. Adventurous. Talented.
So be the Donna. You won’t regret it.
9) Travel. Call me every 12 minutes but travel all over the world. Spread your wings and fly and just please call me at least four times per hour, or else I’m going with you, and I’m old now. I mostly just worry about stuff, so I’m no fun.
10) Listen to your mother. I know you don’t want to hear this but just do it.
11) One of the many gifts I have given you is the gift of anticipating trends. You’ll be reading the trendy book and wearing the cool shoes six months before it is cool. You are welcome. Use it wisely.
12) To my boys: Women are not property. They are not objects. No means no. NO ONE IS ASKING FOR IT. If you see someone that needs help, you will help. You will not tweet about what a slut someone is, ever. You are not a man if you don’t stand up for what is right. Be a man. Be like your dad.
13) I love you. Your dad and I, we love you. We love you so much and we are always looking out for you. We will probably disappoint you and you will probably disappoint us. That’s ok. We will never stop loving you. You will do stupid stuff. We know this because we also did stupid stuff. Lots of it. No matter what you do, we love you and we have your back. Always. Every single time. We don’t care who you love. We don’t care if you choose to be part of the opposite political affiliation. But I’m going to be really mad if I have to sit behind you in a court room.
It is a lot easier to stress out over finger painting than to take on the big stuff in parenting. But I didn’t suffer through 10 months of acid reflux while carrying you to raise an idiot. And cough into your elbow. Nobody likes people who don’t cover their mouths when they cough.