As a newish mom (if my daughter is 14-months-old, do I still get to include myself in the newbies club?), I often find myself looking at the world a bit closer and trying to figure out what I’d say to my child if she were faced with some of the everyday obstacles that confront me.
Surprisingly, it’s the small hiccups in my day – not the huge, existential dilemmas – that make me pause and wonder what I can be teaching her about the complexities of life. And often, I’m left stumped. This parenting is hard stuff. Thankfully, though, no one expects us to have all the answers.
No one, that is, except ourselves. We pressure ourselves into believing that we’ve got it all together and are an endless fountain of knowledge.
I don’t know about you, but I often feel like my well is dry.
But for all the things I don’t know, there are a few things I am pretty sure are true. These are the everyday things that I hang my hat on, and the things I want Wee Cee to know. Whether or not she’ll listen remains to be seen, but I’m still her mom, so I’ll try my best to teach her.
When you get gum on the bottom of your shoe, stop, get a Kleenex, and peel it off. Yes, it’s been inside of someone’s mouth and they were likely not the tidiest of people for just spitting it out on the sidewalk, but it’s just gum. I wiped your bottom eleventy billion times. There’s your perspective.
When you’re stuck in line and it’s not moving, always carry a book. Waiting is a great time for learning and exploring ideas.
When you want to travel somewhere, find a way to do it. Don’t let anyone (especially me or Daddy) tell you that it’s too far away.
When you decide to waste some money, probably do it on something that isn’t too breakable. Wasting money on music and/or books is highly advised. (Hint: when you “waste” money on books or music, it’s not really wasting.)
When you get bored, don’t get angsty. Boredom is the world’s way of telling you to look at a different part of it.
When you are in a fitting room and nothing you try on looks right, do not hate your body. Also, do not hate the clothes. Believe it or not, your body isn’t everything. And thank God, neither are skinny jeans.
When you think there’s nothing to eat in your house, open you cabinet and get out the peanut butter. Peanut butter will always miraculously be there. I cannot explain this phenomenon. Science is hard at work in finding the answers too.
When someone tells you that you’re naïve, smile and nod to be polite, but know that your grasp on the world is tight. You and only you have the potential to know yourself the best.
When you need my advice but cannot reach me, always defer to Mr. Rogers. He had a handle on everything.
And when people give you advice (yes, even me), weigh it. Try it on for size, but don’t feel too bad if it doesn’t fit perfectly.
What is something small but big that you want to pass down to your own children?