Friday, October 18, 2013
Parenting: Bandwagon Dorkiness
I love this image because while I can't say I have anything on my phone quite this magnificent, I have hundreds of Toca Salon and Toca Tailor snapshots along with a zillion photos of me looking down that I didn't know Ellen took. To me this photo of Josh represents how parents are completely powerless when it comes to the way they will be represented by their children in the future, in a work of art, or even just in how they live their lives. We'll be woven into everything they do. But we have no control over how they will remember us or portray us. We will have paid for the lessons, provided the materials, and encouraged them. And they might pick a weird image of us to make into a dress, as Lila has done here.
A few days ago Maggie let it slip in a very sophisticated form of tattle-telling that Sam suggested to her that I am a "band-wagon" Doctor Who fan. Friends, this actually hurt my feelings. I confronted him and he apologized and explained that he was talking about bandwagon Who fans of the "I Heart Matt Smith" variety and had merely mentioned in the same conversation that I didn't know when the Time War happened. (I know now: In between the 8th and 9th Doctors, doy.)
I don't mean to imply that my children are anything but thoughtful and kind towards me. Because they really are. But this got me thinking about searching everywhere to find Sam a Doctor Who DVD set for Christmas one year and how excited I was when I found a used one because it's an expensive set. I thought about how I'm currently researching how to build your own arc reactor to help Ben make one for Halloween. I thought about researching adenoids and allergies before Sam had his tonsils removed. I know that when my children go on missions or to college I will become a "band wagon" fan of whatever they do and wherever they go.
I want to tell them, "Can't you see? Don't you know? Isn't it obvious?" Everything I am, everything I'm into is for and about them.
Oh, mom. You got so into diapers and pacifiers and healthy food and teaching your children when you had kids. You just jumped right on the band wagon like some kind of dork with no life.
Dork with no life, indeed.
Last week at church my neighbor shared the pain she is feeling for her sister who has a son who is making some bad choices right now. She didn't say what her nephew is doing. Probably partying or ditching school or breaking his mom's heart in one way or another. She was really sad for her sister. She cried. And I almost cried. And I'm sure her sister, this mother of a wayward son, has cried. And I thought to myself, this boy has no idea. He has no idea how much people care about him. He has no idea that choices he makes could make his aunt cry. Do you know how often I think about my aunts? Almost never. And if I were about to do something dumb or crazy I would not think about them, for sure. And here we are on the other side of it caring so much about this kid and hoping the best for him. He would probably make fun of us. Dorks with no lives! I mean, I would.
Like The Shins say, caring is creepy. But when they got older they said this: