The Last First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school.  The last first day of school that I will be with my daughter. Sigh.  The day started out the same as always.  I went to the corner store to get my daughter her traditional egg and cheese sandwich.  I fastened her necklace after she put on her new and carefully chosen outfit, I took her picture in front of my building, I shed a tear.  It was the picture that did it: I’ve taken her picture in the same spot in front of my building since she was in nursery school.  After I hugged her good bye and watched all walk towards the subway, I entered my building and looked at my doorman.  He just nodded his head: he’s seen me take this picture every year.  He knows the significance as much as I do.

Wow.

Where did the time go?

I was recently chatting with Shalini and Jo, and I regaled the fact that I have become the crazy woman in the market who tells parents with small children in tow to not blink, because before you know it, your kids will be all grown up.  I know from experience: I blinked.  So don’t blink…

What do I mean by this?  Make time for memories.  Make time to do things that are just for fun.  Have traditions.  Take pictures. Build a relationship with your child.

I realize I an the most structured person in the world: I have a schedule and a procedure for everything. I’m a stickler for homework and completing what you started and being a good team player.  I taught her rules and responsibilities.    But I also let my daughter jump in puddles just to see her smile as the water splashed up.  I let her use play doh in the living room, and dealt with the mess.  We built lego forts in the middle of the living room, sang really badly, had game tournaments and Mommy/Daughter outings.  We lived and experienced and enjoyed. And because I have a head full of memories, I am reasonably OK about the future.  (I say reasonably because there is a 33% chance that I will follow her to college and move across the street and stick a GPS chip in her arm while she’s asleep) I truly believe I am going to let her move out…

Remember that the job of a parent is to raise a self sufficient adult.  We’ve done our job if they are able to join the world and leave us behind.  Our job is to push them out of the nest. So when you shed a tear as you watch their back walk away, remember that this is good, that this is what is supposed to happen.  And know that they love you even if they’re looking at you through the rear view mirror.  They see you- they’re still looking- they know you have their back if things go south. They know how much you love them.

Remember the good times.  Laugh about the bad (you can laugh- it’s in the past) Wave good bye for now.  It’s OK.  They’re in your head and in your heart.  And you will always be in theirs.

 

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The Intern- The Reality

My lovely friend Anne asked if I would post an update about how my Daughter is feeling about her internship.  As she has reached the halfway point of her four week stint, I have prepared some random thoughts- If I am quoting something, it might not be the exact quote, but a reasonable representation.

Day 1: Daughter arrives home at 5:30, plops into living room chair with a grunt. (honestly I thought she was going to ask for the evening paper, a cocktail and her slippers) “Wow.  Working a job is physically exhausting.” (Cause you know she’s spending her summer in a mine hauling up coal- not in an air conditioned office a block from the subway)

Day 2: Work really is tedious.  You just do the same thing for eight hours.” (No?!? Say it isn’t so!  Tedious?)

Day 3:I don’t know if they’re properly utilizing my skills. ” (OK – first off- what skills?  You’re a rising Senior in High School.  Did you think they were going to ask calculus questions or to analyze a poem? and secondly, she was asked to work on the new website, and she’s working on a project that she will have authorship on- seriously?  I know people with bona fide jobs without that much responsibility)

Day 4: “At school they try to make learning fun and try to think of things to stimulate us.  That’s just not how it is at work.  Maybe school should give us a little reality check as to how life actually works.  Maybe we have to learn that life is not always fun.” (OK- I don’t have much to add to that)

Day 5:”Some of these kids are so smart.  The things they think about and talk about are just amazing.  The conversations are so well thought out”

Day 6: “I realize that I’m not being challenged by my peers at school.  We talk about u tube videos. These kids are crazy intelligent.  They don’t even know who Bethany Mota is, yet they know the head of every country.” (yes- my daughter goes to a public high school with a 2.6% acceptance rate and is nationally ranked- and she is a study nerd- but apparently she is lagging)

Day 7: “The first few days everyone went out of their way to dress nice.  Now we all realize no one notices what we wear. They just keep telling us to learn to code cause then we will always be employed.”

Day 8: “I realized today that not only an I being shortchanged intellectually at school, I’m also being short changed at home.  Really- you guys need to step up your game.” (Gee- this is what you say to the people about to finance your most probably expensive education? Not such a smart statement…)

Day 9: “G (head person at place where she is working) is just amazing.  I can’t believe how much she fits into a day, and how many things she has accomplished since taking leadership of X. It’s so inspiring to see someone take responsibility for what they are doing, and actively work to make things better and continue on their mission statement. And she takes time to talk and interact with the interns.  She makes us feel like what we think, say and do matter.  And she’s a good person. And you know, really really smart.  She went to “dream school” for graduate studies. 

Day 10: “A new group of interns started today.  They looked so scared.  I wonder if that’s how I looked my first day.” Because after two weeks she is a seasoned pro…

It’s funny how quickly she has assimilated into the corporate culture.  I watch her in the morning as she drinks her coffee and scans the news headlines to see what is happening in the world.  She dresses in her tailored outfits that she has cobbled together from her closet and mine, tosses a granola bar and water bottle into her messenger bag, making sure she has an umbrella and sunglasses cause NYC in the summer could go either way.  She’s broadened her horizons a little, has met some amazing students from High Schools, Colleges and Grad schools.  She has learned a little of the reality of bureaucracy, and waste and empty promises- things that you don’t learn in school. She is learning to navigate an unknown world and she is not only surviving but thriving.  She’s tired and challenged and happy.  And I’ll take that.  Challenged and happy are pretty good things to be.

 

Straw into Gold

I always jot down blog ideas by putting them in my planner.  Most of the time I see my note and I know immediately the direction I want to take: I have a clear cut path.  Today is not one of those days.  Today I looked at my note and went “hmmm- what was I thinking when I jotted this idea down?” So, we’re going to see if I can turn straw into gold.  Or if not gold, at least something of worth.

My daughter just finished Junior year of high school.  She did well- this is not a complaint about her academic achievements.  She has an impressive three year GPA, she did well enough on her SAT that if it wasn’t that she needed to do the optional essay, she would not be taking it again. (In NYC, all students take the SAT courtesy of the city- the only catch is, it is given without the optional essay.  My daughter is applying to at least 5 schools that require the essay)

Here’s the thing when people see someone with high grades- they somehow assume that those that have high grades do not study.  They think these grades just happen.  And maybe, for some kids this is true.  But my kid is not always one of them.  My kid studies. And some classes are more of a struggle than others.

History is not one of those classes.  For some reason she has an almost eidetic memory for history- she has an uncanny grasp of dates and concepts.  When they played US History Jeopardy, her team won 7000-300 because if her teacher started a question “In 1887…” she would ring in and say “Dawes Act”- and then give the description.  She got a 99 on the Regents Exam (NY State test for high school) and thought about asking to see her answer sheet because she couldn’t figure out what she got wrong. But, to be clear, she still reads the books and does the homework.  It just settles in her brain the right way.

Physics.  Well physics was a bit of a challenge.  She spent more time studying physics this year than every other class combined. She was at every review session.  She signed up for a physics video website thing.  She bought about a thousand physics study guides.  She worked her tail off, and she was rewarded with a good grade.  But she worked hard.

Some people don’t seem to realize that success comes with hard work and sacrifice.  When my family was over on Father’s Day, my daughter excused herself to study physics, because she had the exam a few days after.  My FIL said “Why is she studying?  She’s smart. She doesn’t need to study.”

So here’s the thing: just because you are smart, or athletic or funny doesn’t mean that you are automatically get all A’s, or play in the major league or be a late night talk show host.  Just because you have raw talent doesn’t mean you don’t have to work at something.  To be good at anything you must consistently work towards that goal.  You must consistently put in time and effort.  Study, practice, whatever- you must work.  No one is entitled to grades or recording contracts or pro careers.  No one succeeds by putting in minimal effort.  No one is that lucky.

So here’s the thing: don’t spend your time buying lottery tickets in hopes of changing your life.  Figure out your passion and work towards a goal.  Take your straw and weave it into gold.

 

 

The Intern

My daughter started her internship yesterday.

Ok- so that’s the lead- but what’s the rest of the story?

She applied to a few different internship programs, because as you know, internships are difficult to get, especially if you have few connections.  Many firms are cutting back on these types of opportunities, so for a High School student, finding an internship can be daunting.  Though she interviewed for many, there were not a plethora of offers.  But, she did secure a good spot which more importantly fit her time frame.  (TBH, she needs to look at colleges this summer, and she has a TON of summer homework, plus she takes her second SAT in late August, and oh yeah, because she plays a fall sport, tennis practice begins halfway through August- three weeks before school starts.

Of course- my daughter had delusions of grandeur:  in her mind she was going to sashay into the office and start running things.  I kind of put in perspective that she would probably have a lot of busy work.  As it turns out, we were both sort of right and sort of wrong: though yesterday she did a bunch of folding and envelope stuffing, tomorrow she actually begins a project that is tedious by the sound of it, yet important.  Like anything- tedious but necessary.

Sunday night she had a little attack of nerves.  She said to me “What if I make a mistake?  What if I screw up?  This isn’t school, where I might not like a bad grade, but I know I will survive.  What if I do something wrong?”  I reminded her that she wasn’t performing brain surgery.  She wasn’t defending someone of death row.  And that everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone.  Just because it’s a job and people are supposed to be adults doesn’t make them infallible.  I doled out the Mom playbook and I told her to listen to what she’s being told, take notes, write lists, and ask questions.  Just like she has done since she was four years old and went to Kindergarten.  I reminded her that the qualities that make her a successful student will be the same qualities that make her a successful person in the work force.  I don’t know how convinced she was, but she nodded her head.

I went back down memory lane as I helped her get dressed yesterday morning: I took her suit and blouse out of the closet, secured her necklace clasp, smoothed her hair down under the rarely used headband.  As I stepped back to look at her, all I could think was “How did this happen?  How is my kid old enough to be heading to an office for a “real” job?  Wasn’t she just starting nursery school?” For a second, I had a little attack of nerves.

Yes- I had one of those Mom moments.  I busied myself with making sure she had tissues and her metrocard.  Made sure she knew where the closest deli to the office was.  Straightened her suit one more time. Kissed her cheek as she went out the door….

No.  I didn’t cry.  I didn’t even get weepy.  Because even though this is a new stage for her, I know I have given her as many tools as possible to survive in the real world.  I know I have spent the past 16 1/2 years preparing her to walk out the door and survive in any setting.  I have prepared her to not need me.  And that felt good.  She knows I’m in her corner, but she also knows she can tackle anything she sets her mind to.

I’ve parented her to the best of my abilities.  She will always be my baby, and I will always be her Mommy.  But I know she’s ready to get on with her life.  And I’m ready to get on with mine.

New World Order

Change.  Whether we like it or not, change is inevitable.  Minutes, hours, days, weeks, years pass before us and like it or not, nothing stays the same.  But some changes are harder to fathom than others.

I consider myself somewhat of a Darwinist: I embrace the thought of “Adapt or Die”.  I feel it change is necessary in order to survive.  I may not love how tech has seemingly taken over the world, but I realize that I must keep up with it of I will go much the way of the dinosaur.  I have to accept that tech is not going anywhere.

But the one change I never saw coming was the role I play in my family.  I am older than my sister by almost seven years, so I had the early upbringing as an only child, yet somewhere in first grade there was an addition.  I’ve always been the quieter, responsible one, a protector of sorts- when it came to her.  But my parents were my parents- they provided and nurtured as best they could.  They were in charge.

My Father turned 80 last month, and my Mom will be celebrating her 60th high school reunion next weekend (I’m not supposed to reveal her age…).  And they are still mobile.  They still have their mental faculties.  I am blessed so far that there health remains pretty good.  But they are getting older- I can’t deny this.

Last month we went to dinner for my Dad’s birthday: my husband and daughter, my sister, brother in law and niece, my Uncle and my Mom.  We went to an iconic New York steakhouse (my Dad’s favorite) which serves its steak dinners family style: big platters of porterhouse and creamed spinach and German fried potatoes in the middle of the table. So when the food is to be shared by the table, you must figure out how much to order. Two steaks for two and two steaks for three?  What temperature?  How many tomato onion salads? Who wants shrimp?

I watched my parents fumble at ordering food.  They were having trouble ordering food at a restaurant we’ve been going to for years.  My Father who ran a successful business, my Mother who inserts herself into any situation, were stumbling.  My Sister was adding to the confusion  by wanting to massively overorder.

I had to take charge.

I had to usurp my parents authority.

This was the first time I envisioned the future of my parents.  This was the first time I realized that things are going to change, and my parents may not be able to make their own decisions anymore.

So I told the table- ie my parents- that I was going to do the ordering.  I knew how much food we needed.  I knew how much steak to get medium vs medium rare. The waiter instantly recognized me as the “go to” person, even though my Father was footing the bill. And though that day was about steak and potatoes, I saw my future in front of me. I was their protector now too.

I never saw that coming. But I need to adapt.  It’s a new world order.

And the dinner went off great.  We had the exact right amount of food.  I made sure my Dad got the pieces of steak he wanted, and I ordered him an extra piece of pecan pie because I knew it wasn’t fair to make him share a piece with all the others.  I wanted him to have a good day, because I realize there aren’t many good days left.  That’s just life. Things change.

 

 

 

 

 

Why?

Yesterday I told you about the lovely B’Nail Mitzvah and horrible behavior of my in laws.  But my FIL had another trick up his sleeve.  The conversation went something like this:

FIL: I was out walking the other day. My neighbor was getting a visitor.  It was her 17 year old grandson.  I went over to talk to him.  I told him about you.

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: I showed him your picture.  See, this is why I like to take pictures of you. So I can show a recent snapshot.

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: I told him how smart you are

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: He has one more year left

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: He told me he couldn’t believe you were so pretty and that smart

Daughter: uh huh

Me: You know who you’re talking to?  She doesn’t want to date anyone

FIL:  She will when she hears this.  He doesn’t like sports.  Doesn’t watch it.  Can you imagine.  Have you ever heard such a thing?  A boy that doesn’t like sports.  Do you know anyone else like that?

Daughter: Yeah.  Every boy at my school.

FIL: Really?  How can so many boys not like sports?

Observations?

  1. FIL takes pictures of my daughter so he can show them to men/boys?  Seriously, can we just think about that for a moment before we hack into his icloud account? Can you spell C-R-E-E-P-Y
  2. Why does he assume all boys like sports?
  3. Why does he assume my daughter doesn’t want to date because she only meets boys who like sports?
  4. Why does he assume my daughter doesn’t like sports? (true- she will rarely watch a game on TV- but she is not adverse to the Mets or the Rangers or the Giants- she has given up on the Knicks though)
  5. Why does he think my daughter needs to be set up?

So I find myself at this situation- again- where people think my daughter needs to have a partner.

Why is this an issue?

Why is this the first thing some people highlight?

Why do they think that she is “lacking”?

I know this has become my soapbox, the one I will stand on.  But in an era of empowering women, we will never be able to empower anyone until we stop thinking that uncoupled women have problems or issues.

Why is it so hard to see that someone is content with who they are and what they do?  Why does having a partner make you complete?

Oh wait.  That movie.

Here’s the deal: you don’t need someone to complete you.  You need to be complete on your own.  And then if you meet someone that you like, you can have them as an add on.

Ok.  I won’t talk about this topic for a few weeks.  Or until my FIL comes over with said boy in tow…

The Weeks I Didn’t Love My Family

Being out of commission for three weeks gave me a wake up call as to taking better care of myself.  It also gave me a wake up call as to how my family could drive me crazy.

I know I push myself.  My family makes it real easy to push myself.  On the first Saturday that I was sick, before I knew how sick I was, we had tickets to see a Broadway show with friends of ours.  We were supposed to have dinner before.  The day before I told him that I would go to the show, but I was going to skip dinner so I could rest a little more.  He was idiot about this.  I won’t even discuss what he wrote, but we’ll leave it at guilt trip.  So I went to dinner, feeling like crap.  Here’s the next secret:  I am not soon forgetting my Husband’s attitude.  I’m not blaming him for my going: that’s on me.  But…

I was also not happy with his take on doing household chores.  I told him he needed to wash the towels and robes.  All of a sudden he forgot what a robe looked like.  And he threw a hissy fit when he couldn’t “find” the robes- he needed help.  You know, cause the robes hanging on the wall behind the bathroom door were hiding.  He practically stamped his feet.

And my daughter.  She was not an innocent in this charade.  When I asked her to feed the pets I got ‘Oh, the smell makes me nauseous.”  We use dry food…what smell?

And the apartment.

OMG the state they left the apartment in.

And then they complained I was making the mess.  I spent the better part of the week on the couch.  i didn’t leave piles of clothes on the floor.  I didn’t leave my husbands new shoes in the front hallway.  I didn’t leave glasses on literally every flat surface in the apartment.  I washed my soup bowl and spoon and tea mug.  I slept and took medicine. They just left crockery everywhere.

In the mornings, even if I was awake, I pretended to be asleep so they wouldn’t ask me questions.  I didn’t want to disclose the location of keys and water bottles and tennis rackets.  I didn’t want to answer stupid questions.  I didn’t want to walk the dog.  The upside is, they let me sleep.

I’m not going to forget their behavior.  I might not forgive them either.  They were more horrible than they were helpful.  But I realized that I was responsible for their lack of responsibility.  So this is another change that I have to work on: getting them to take responsibility for the home.  I shouldn’t have to ask for help: they should be doing things because this is part of the home we share.  Plates should be left in the sink, or better yet washed.  Garbage should just be thrown out when you see it’s full.  Replace the toilet paper roll.  Seriously.  Just put the roll on the little spinny thing.

It’s funny that I’m writing this today, as my Husband just left for a boys trip to celebrate him and his friend turning 50.  And I can guarantee you that dished will be put away and clothes will not be piled on the floor.  But I do plan on going away for a few days so that my family can fend for itself…

Pride and Not so Prejudice

My daughter recently read “Pride and Prejudice.”  As many of you know, this is my favorite book.  I aspire to be Lizzie Bennett.  Well, a modern day version because I’m rather fond of indoor plumbing.

There’s a little backstory to my daughter reading this novel.  For AP Lang, they were required to read the first three chapters of a book from a time period they had trouble with, which is the 19th century for her.  And she was not loving the book when she began to read it, and couldn’t understand why I loved it so, but she chose to keep reading it.

Proud moment.  My daughter chose to voluntarily read this book. (and it’s a requirement for college English next year so she’s a bit ahead of the game)

And we began discussing the book, my daughters perspective that Lizzie was a boy hungry gossip, and my perspective was that my daughter was nuts.  But for arguments sake I tried to pretend that she might have a point in certain respects.  A very small point, but there’s nothing like a good debate.

Not so proud that she found this book to be the first recorded chick lit novel.

One morning I got a text from her when she was on the M101 on her way to school.

DAUGHTER: OMG Char marries Mr. Collins???

Proud moment.  My daughter texting me about a plot point in the book.

It’s amazing that my daughter reading my favorite novel could bring me so much joy.  It was wonderful to see the novel though her eyes, to discuss certain plot points and reasons why Austen chose to portray certain things in certain ways.  We analyzed the book as scholars, referred to it as a historical point of reference, and bonded as mother and daughter.

Bonding.  That was the best part.  Sitting at the table, or walking down the street, we were able to communicate with one another on a different level than just Mother/Daughter.  As my kid is smarter than me, and often more astute, we were able to discuss this novel as equals. Our relationship had just reached a new level.  I began to really see my daughter as the woman she will soon become.

Pride.

I am proud of the child she was, and I am proud of the woman she is becoming.  There are times, especially during middle school or teething, when a parent feels like they are failing at parenting.  They feel like they are the worst parent in the world, and things will never get better.  And then you hit a moment….and you exhale.  You realize that though not perfect, you did some things right.  You realize that you’ve raised a decent human being who you are now able to have an actual relationship with.

Proud.

When you hit one of these moments, savor it.  Because you know there are still going to be bumps ahead.  But take advantage of this small victory- this moment when you see your kid in a new light.

Allow yourself to spend a moment being proud.  You deserve it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Worry – It will Happen

Sorry.  This is going to be a bit of a rant, but something irked me and I have to complain write about it.

A few weeks ago, Husband and I were at dinner with friends.  My daughter was coming home from her tennis match (the parent who drove parks his car near the restaurant) and she saw us through the window, so she came in to say “Hi”.  As this was about 7pm on a Saturday, our couple friends asked what she was doing that night, to which she responded “homework”.

To make this clear, my kid is an avid studier and not so avid partier.  That’s just who she is.  Grades and extracurricular are much more important to her, and she has surrounded herself with friends who feel the same way.

Well, S asked her where the boyfriend was. (I think you all remember my blog about this particular topic) And she said that a significant other isn’t even a thought in her mind, that she’s just not interested.

When she left, he said to me.  “Don’t worry.  One day she’s going to wake up and meet a boy.”

What?

He continued.  “It will happen.  A boy will walk in and she’ll fall in love and won’t be alone anymore.”

I changed the subject.  (also- to be clear- this is my husband’s friend) In my mind though, I was sort of pissed off.  OK- not sort of.  Really annoyed.

  1. What’s wrong with a kid who is a serious student?
  2. What’s wrong with a kid who doesn’t want to date?
  3. Why are you looking with me with pity in your eyes that my 16 year old doesn’t have a boyfriend and it’s a tragedy?
  4. Why are you consoling me with one day a prince will come mentality?
  5. Maybe I think his kids being under 30 and all married is the wrong choice….( I know- not a question, but emphatic point that I thought should be included here_)

I know.  I’ve written this before, but today is blog as therapy day, and I have to put my frustration and anger on the page.  But the real question is:  why does it bother me so much?  Am I really subconsciously worried about why my daughter doesn’t choose to date?

So I thought about this.

And I thought.

And I over thought.

And I’ve decided that no, I really don’t care whether or not my daughter dates.  I’m actually pretty happy with the way she is.  She’s confident and hard working.  She’s a good person who isn’t mean and treats people with respect and dignity.  She has self worth. She has friends who treat her with respect and dignity.  She is a pretty happy kid, especially for a teenager growing up today.  And maybe she is all these things because she has focused on herself instead of focusing on popularity or pairing off.

So here’s the lesson.  Be yourself first.  Figure out who you are, what you like, what you don’t like.  Smile when someone gives you a look of pity, because you’ll probably have the last laugh.

Just like me.  Rant over.  Whew- aren’t you glad?

 

 

Mother/Daughter

My Sister was in town recently, which as I’ve told you, means I saw a bit of my Mother.  She usually has something to say about our parenting skills (again, you know how much I like people talking about my parenting)  My sister and I have always been open about talking to our daughters about sex (age appropriate).  The conversation went something like this:

Mother: I don’t know why you have to talk to the girls about sex

Me: Well, it’s a natural thing.  I want daughter to learn the right things and not have hang-ups.

Sister: Yeah.  I don’t want my kid to feel shame when thinking/talking about sex

Me: Totally.  The way you taught us left me filled with shame.

Mother: No it didn’t.  I was very good about teaching you those things.

Sister: No you weren’t.  I felt shame too.

Mother: No you didn’t.  I did it the right way.

Me: Mom, if we’re both saying the same thing, you have to at least consider that what we’re saying is correct.  You tried, but we’re telling you that your method didn’t work.

Mother: Yes it did.

I know parents make mistakes.  I’m sure my daughter has a list that she’s waiting to spring on me.  But I HOPE that I can acknowledge when I made a mistake, when I did something wrong, especially if my daughter tells me.

My Mother is a know it all (seriously- she makes me look like an amateur) Whenever someone says anything, she knows better.  My daughter mentioned that she wanted to look at a certain college.  My Mother immediately said, “That’s in a bad neighborhood.”  I asked, “When were you there?”  My Mother said “40 years ago.”  Now I realize that some things stay the same.  But guess what?  Some things change.  My Mother had no basis for her statement, but she will say it loud and repeatedly.

I really know that my Mother has my best interests at heart.  I know she says things in order to help me out.  But here’s the problem:  her statements are not always logical, factual or realistic.  She will read one article on something and declare it the absolute law, because it backs up her beliefs.  She will not even consider another opinion on pretty much anything:  there’s her way or no way.  And she has opinions on everything.  My daughter wanted a certain type of make-up brush for Christmas, which I bought her.  As soon as my Mother saw it she said “You don’t want to use that.  It’s horrible.”  Had my Mother ever used this item?  No.  Does she know anyone personally that used this item? No.  She just didn’t like the idea of it.  I told her that sometimes people need to try things out themselves- learn from experience.  She just shook her head at me.

See, that’s another issue with my Mother’s parenting skills.  She gave us a road map as to what we should and should not do.  She told us exactly how to proceed through life without teaching us how to make a good decision.  She never taught us to think about our actions.  We all know this is bad.  We need to make mistakes.  We need to get hurt.  We need to get dirty.  I know my Mother did these things out of love because she didn’t want us to feel pain or hurt.  But guess what, you still feel pain and hurt, because those things are unavoidable.

My Mother gave us the facts that she thought were important, not the facts that we needed.  And I have accepted that she didn’t know any better.  I have no issue with the fact that she made mistakes.  My issue is that she refuses to accept that she made mistakes.  In her mind, she did everything right and would not have changed her parenting choices at all.  This is why it is difficult to have an adult relationship with her.  She still tells me all the things I am doing wrong with regards to everything, and still tries to give me directions on how to live my life.

Yes, today is blog as journal day.  Today I randomly write down things that annoy me about my Mother, because it is somewhat cathartic to write the words down.  When I write it down, it releases a little something in me.  I feel a little bit better.

And as always, I often wonder why I am so screwed up, and then I spend some time with my Mother, and I wonder how am I so normal.