Mama Kat’s Writing Prompt:
1.) Share something your child taught YOU about parenting.
So for the gazillionith time I will tell you that my kids, 19 and 21 years of age, are very different from each other. Day and Night. Black and White. Yin and Yang but not necessarily complementary, etc., etc., etc…….
I have learned so much from each of them and, of course, completely opposite and different things.
Today, I’d like to share something that Matt taught me.
He’s my gregarious and compassionate one. Also bright, charming, and affectionate with a hug for everyone. He’s my fly-by-the-seat-of–his-pants kid who lives in the moment and never looks before he leaps. His laugh is infectious. He doesn’t hold grudges and he’s present. Matt is passionate about life and has the capacity to love very deeply; it’s just in him.
Now, I’m telling you all of his strengths but with this child, the highs are oh-so high and the lows are crab-appleness at it’s finest. Quite often he’s a totally pain in the ass. And far from perfect but I wouldn’t (well maybe) change a thing about him because those great times are equivalent to a freshly minted bar of shiny gold or a beautiful rainbow. You just might have to put up with some stuff to reap these rewards sometimes.
One of our favorite family movies is Groundhog Day. You know, the one starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Somehow, we regularly fall into it on the tube without even looking. Happiest to catch it at the beginning, we’ll sit down to watch it at any point. Someone will yell, “Hurry! Groundhog Day is on!” and we cuddle up on the couches to watch. And of course, there’s a big fight as to who gets the big comfy chair (that person gets the dog!).
If you don’t know the movie, here is a brief description of the plot line from the website Rottentomatoes.com:
“On February 2, 1992, Phil, Rita, and Larry are sent on an assignment that Phil especially loathes: the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, PA, where the citizens await the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who will supposedly determine the length of winter by his ability to see his own shadow. Phil is eager to beat a hasty retreat, but when a freak snowstorm strands him in Punxsutawney, he wakes up the next morning with the strangest sense of déjà vu: he seems to be living the same day over again. The next morning it happens again, and then again. Soon, no matter what he does, he's stuck in February 2, 1992; not imprisonment nor attempted suicide nor kidnapping the groundhog gets him out of the loop. But the more Phil relives the same day, the more he's forced to look at other people's lives, and something unusual happens: he begins to care about others. He starts to respect people, he tries to save the life of a homeless man, and he discovers that he's falling in love with Rita and therefore wants to be someone that she could love in return.”
As a parent, don’t you sometimes feel you are reliving the exact same day over and over and over again?
So what is it Matt taught me about parenting?
This boy, now a man, taught me to start each day fresh as if it were a clean slate. This child always woke with a smile from the time he was an infant, ready to begin his day with enthusiasm (except for some of those teen years).
Don’t wake up mad at anybody (my kids or husband or friends or parents). Choose to begin the day, again and again and again, happy. There is always a new adventure, whether big or small, waiting for me.
So on days when, as a young mom of toddlers then teens (and even now), I woke up grumpy or wanted to stay pissy forever, I would see his gorgeous blue eyes and beautiful face and remember.
Today is a clean slate.
Dump the baggage from yesterday.
Be present so you don't miss the moments.
Smile big and bright.
Living with him has been like Groundhog Day, the movie. While many days may seem mundane and repetitive (doesn’t everyone feel this way sometimes?), it’s up to us to find and make new moments for ourselves each and every day. And make a choice to start it fresh.