I was reading lists of things to teach your children before it’s too late on my news feed.
To quote former Texas Governor, Rick Perry: ‘oops’.
I didn’t teach you about money very well. You need to pay your rent, and your bills, and your student loan, and get food, for godssake! Oh, for all that, you need to budget. Don’t know what that is? I didn’t either, yet somehow, we both lived. Yeah, I have about $8,000 in credit debt, but they’re the ones who gave me the cards! Also, my debt is down from $15,000, and if I helped you with math, you’ll know I’ve paid down nearly half!
They charge you to keep that pretend money – often a lot! – especially if your credit rating sucks, which mine did. Because I managed to pay back nearly half, I have better credit now – will they ever learn?
You really shouldn’t eat all the crap I fed you until I found out that it was crap I was feeding you. McDonald’s didn’t get rich off us, but we loved their french fries, and sadly, the proof is still in our arteries. I’m sorry!
Sugar isn’t your friend, fat isn’t either – unless it’s good fat, and then – not too much, OK?
Are you exercising? Yes, I made you go out and play – holy crap – I managed to do something right – but are you keeping your muscles and bones strong and safe?
I was a helicopter parent, or maybe a light experimental craft, because I hovered, but not to the extent I’ve read about some parents – sheesh! I can at least feel good about that while I’m wringing my hands over what I failed to teach you.
Teachable moments. I missed so many. Again, sorry. I was winging it. I did have positive reinforcement skills – telling you to use an inside voice, use your walking feet, and gave you choices – even if it was a choice between two shitty options.
Also, I didn’t swear much when I was raising you, and that was a huge accomplishment, believe me. I fucking swear all the fucking time now, and before I had you. I was trying to teach you, and myself, that swearing isn’t necessary, it’s just fun.
I wouldn’t, however, swear when talking to your boss, or anybody who might ever possibly have power over you.
People suck, and life isn’t fair. Did I tell you that enough? There are many good people too, they’re just harder to spot, and are suffering from being dumped on by all the jerks. Be nice to them.
Remember this mis-attributed Mark Twain quote:
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
There are so many things I forgot to teach you, but thankfully, you’re smarter than me, so you’ll figure it all out before you have children – if you have children – which I recommend and I don’t recommend.
If you know that I love you, that you conquered my selfishness, that you made me a better person, that I always wish the best for you – wish for stamina to withstand all the challenges you’ll face, keeping your humor, your hope, and your humanity intact, then I’ll believe I’ve done a good enough job.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current