Do Overs

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and re-do something? I have. So many times. Not even for important things; it's stupid things. Little embarrassments or mistakes, the real honest-to-god mistakes that make you feel terrible becuase they were wholly unintentional. So, you think back and wonder, "how could I not have known?" or "how was I so stupid?"

I wish I could say becoming a mom has helped me see that these little things don't matter, but I can't. Honestly, I don't know that they don't matter more because I'm parenting. Any parent wants only good, amazing things for their kids. I'm no different. I want JJ to have the best and not just materially. I want him to have the things I never had growing up (as an adult...). I want him to fit, the way I never did; the way I still don't in so many ways.

But, "do overs" wouldn't make me fit anymore than I do now. And, looking back, you don't get to do over and still have the knowledge from the mistake you made. That knowledge is valuable; it's the silver lining in the storm cloud. Hopefully, it informs better decisions and actions in the future.

That's what I'll be teaching JJ. About kindness: for others and for one's self.

For all the selfishness, self-centeredness and "me-me-me" on social media, it's still not cool to be too kind to one's self. Vulnerability is prized, especially when it leads to loads of anonymous praise. (I won't even go into how weird that is for me.) JJ is going to grow up in a world where he'll probably have a cell phone in first grade (or shortly thereafter, if only because pay phones are non-existant and the world is scary). I want him to learn not to just pollute the world with every thought.

Instead, I value reflection and hope he will learn to do so too.

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