I could fill many pages with the profound truths of the parenting experience. The second I held my newborn daughter in my arms on August 23, 2004, I felt both empowered and daunted by the task at hand. Most of us would agree that we are not adequately prepared for the role of PARENT and we sometimes question our decisions along the way. The first lesson the new parent learns is that few issues are of the clear-cut, black or white variety and raising a child is not as easy as expected. However, children are precious gifts from God and we pour into them our love, time, resources and occasionally a little wisdom. In turn, they love us unconditionally and embrace us as both Superman and Mother Teresa.
And then they turn on us. Regardless of the relationship we have with our children, at some point they will become utterly and wholly embarrassed by us and we will begin a dreaded free-fall from our esteemed perch. We will be relegated to a category of “uncool” which will encompass our words, appearance, music choices, wardrobe, the way we walk, the way we breathe….you get the picture.
When I was a teenager, my mother’s crimes against humanity involved her use of odd or slightly “off” words for common items or acts. For example, instead of “throw up” she would use the not-so-easy-on-the-ears term “urp.” There was nothing that made me red in the face more than hearing this word roll off her tongue in all its onomatopoeia glory. As I write this, I’m struck by the question of why my mother would ever need to refer to the act of regurgitation in front of others outside our family but c’est la vie.
I also remember the devastation of seeing her in a bright yellow blazer which taunted me with its humiliating, well, yellowness. I remember getting reprimanded by my father for criticizing my mother’s clothing choices (although I secretly think he hated that blazer as much as I did). I, however, thought I was advancing her fashion aptitude by picking her apart each morning.
Of course, I blame my temporary rudeness on a not-yet-developed frontal lobe. I wouldn’t change a thing about my childhood and have long since pardoned my mom and dad for offenses that existed largely in my own insecure head. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I can only imagine the ridicule I will face in the years to come. And, trust me, I already feel like I live with a 15 year old so I’ve given up hope that we will be spared tumultuous teenage years.
In fact, Bailey is developing a critical eye which seems to be largely focused on me. About a year ago, Bailey told me she didn’t like one of my outfits as it made me look too much like a boy. While I scoffed at the idea of a 6 year old telling me what not to wear, I’ll admit I’ve never worn it since. Continue reading The Road to Uncool is Paved With Good Parenting