Sunday, May 15, 2011

Once I Ruled the World

I used to be fantastic! Don't laugh, it's true. There was once a time when I made the world go-round. Granted the world was small, but I ruled it magically. I was the queen of playdough and silly songs and playground coolness. With a single word I could make everything right with the world, ridding it of monsters and bullies and sadness. There was even a time when I used to have the answers to some of life's toughest questions.

In just a few short years my reign has come to an end.  Now the most magical thing I can produce is a ride to the mall. The only answers I have are incorrect and the only thing I can make right is spaghetti.

How does that happen? I'll tell you...

First we teach kids how to talk, then they learn to talk back. We teach them to explore their world and they learn that there is more out there than we can offer them. We teach them to stand up for themselves, and they stand up against us. We teach them to make choices but we never suspect that they will choose things we don't agree with. We ask them to be responsible and they don't need us so much anymore. We tell them to grow up, and they do.

Knowing all of this doesn't make a bit of difference. The job of a parent is to teach people not to need you anymore. You still have to encourage them to speak, to explore, to be strong, thoughtful and responsible. You still have to teach them to grow up. (Despite how painful those teen years are going to prove to be.)

I have discovered that as you become less and less fantastic you need to have some sanity saving strategies.

I'm not going to lie...

  • I use country music like garlic. I play it loud. It keeps everyone out of my hair long enough to get the housework done.
  • I creep facebook pages and twitter posts. With my online urban dictionary bookmarked I can almost figure out just how much discomfort I'm dishing out and adjust accordingly.
  • I listen to people with little children fret and complain and in my mind I reminisce about the days when my troubles were small and I ruled the world. (FYI that grin on my face is is more Cheshire cat than 'isn't that cute', if you only knew what you're in for)
  • I weep. I don't cry, crying is for babies. Weeping is the battle song of those enduring inevitable adversity. (just a note here; they know they bring you to tears but they must not know when, weep in private)
  • I have a safe room, a place I go to rant or weep. Lately the garage has been my safe room. Michael's motorcycle is there, so is Michael. We are a team...this is our situation room. (just a note here; ranting is a good tool to use openly on occasion, it keeps everyone on their toes, be the ticking time bomb)
  • Perhaps my most effective strategy is to let Michael take one for the team. I let him be the bad guy, he knows I'm going to throw him under the bus and he's good with that (like he has a choice) We talked about this a long time ago. I did the labour and delivery thing, his sacrifice here might just make us even. 'Even' is going to be important if we are going to enjoy staring at each other in an empty house not many years from now.
I know that the teenage years are the final push that will present us with fabulous adults to share time and conversation with. I just want to laugh along the way. I don't want to wait until after because well, truth be told I'm not convinced I'm going to come out with enough marbles to remember what I wanted to laugh about. I'm also a little afraid that it might be like childbirth and I might forget everything.

If you are still fabulous and the ruler of the world...soak it in! If you are no longer fabulous and in the heat of battle...chin-up, fist bump, fist bump, can do this! (we can do this? can't we?) If you are on the other side enjoying your share...what got you there? what was your best strategy?

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!