You Dont Have To Love Me Because I Do

I want to talk about myself today. But isn’t that what you do every day? you wonder. Yeah, I do. But this time I don’t want to hide behind my children or some other seemingly salient topic. “Me” I am important. Don’t you think? Well, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t think so, but if you knew me you might kind of agree, or not. A solid NO is a real possibility also. I don’t think I’m a terrible human being though. I was just sitting here not feeling so great about myself, and then I started contemplating…why? Why do I feel the way I do right now? What have I done that is so terrible? My kids hate me. They don’t always. But their words have started to sting. My strategy with it is to go the opposite direction to what my parents and other elders did when I broke, and said something mean to them as a child and young adult. It was lecture time for me, I got grounded a lot. A lot of weird punishments were given out that I don’t want to get into right now because I feel bad enough about myself as it is. I just smile, give them a hug, and say well I love you more than the sun, the stars, the moon, and everything in between. I’m, they’re going to be a unique kind of messed up.

I feel something is broken, and bleeding inside you, when you’re being mean to someone else. I want to teach them to love people when they are hurting. To know the difference between pain and anger inside them. I want them to know that it’s okay to hurt but it’s not okay to hurt others. But enough about them. As a tween or teen, however, lectures fell on deaf ears. I do remember them now. It’s like they got stored for later use.

Here I am decades later reminded of how unhinged, and purposeless adults in my life thought I was. I think and always thought I’m an awesome person. Somehow, somewhere that little prick in my heart stops my awesomeness from spilling out completely. My confidence, and that spring in my step is a tiny bit less springy because I remember someone always saying: ”you’re too old to get this excited about this trivial thing”. Somehow my laugh is a little quieter every time I find something funny because I remember being told again and again that I need to grow up. But hey the story is not all gloom and doom because grow up I did not, I still think Disney World is the best place on earth. I believe all the Marvel superheroes will come back to life, or my son is already working on ’another earth’ I bet everyone is alive in it, I’ll just move there.

Every time I hear I’m not responsible enough, I look at these two human beings that I have carried inside me that I am a 100 % responsible for educating, feeding, training into being functioning people all the while running a household, and working. I just moved countries, I am in the middle of setting up another household while keeping the children alive, well fed. I’m also in the middle of helping them through their emotional, and physical transition. They are about to start a new school, and I am fully aware that this is just the tip of the iceberg. To be fair I should say WE are moving because my husband is obviously a BIG part of this process. I’m definitely not alone in this. However, sometimes I am alone. He goes out of town for weeks, even months. That’s cool though. We have a system. It works.

Me and one of my many beautiful nieces.

What’s that system? I’m freakin’ responsible!

Do you want to know something even more interesting? When people want something done on time and correctly, they come to me. When people want the truth, they come to me. No games, it’s tried and tested.

Then why am I told again and again that I’m not responsible? Or that I need to grow up? And why I think twice about being proud of who I am? And who I have made of myself?

Because I don’t apologize for my weaknesses. Because I don’t shy away from that child inside me who wants to come out to play every now and again.

Because I’m not afraid to make mistakes.

Because I’m not afraid to speak my truth.

I am not perfect and that’s okay.

Because of the tasks I’m supposed to accomplish will not be perfect or up to other’s standards and that’s okay too.

This can be scary, but that’s okay too.

Everybody doesn’t have to like me, as long as I like me that’s good enough.

Basically: I am not perfect by any means. I am enough.

Also, can I tell you something that you may have not thought about in a while because not everyone is as self-absorbed as I am: you are enough too.

The Coin And The Wait Game

My son and I always fight about this coin. He’s obsessed with it, and I won’t let him have it. It’s a souvenir from Italy. It has meaning for me. He just wants it because he likes to collect coins and this one is unique. It’s big, and different. He keeps asking, ”why can’t I have this one? What’s special about this one?” I have explained to him why not. His answer is always the same. ”Give me this one, when we go next time you can get yourself another one just like it. You know I’ll keep it safe.”

He knows I know that. He will keep it safe. However, he is only 6. He doesn’t really understand that I can’t just hand him a souvenir.

MY souvenir. He has plenty of his own. We always buy them tiny tokens from places that we visit with them so they remember. They come back and decorate them on the highest shelves in their rooms so they or their friends can’t get to them. Those things are off limits. So I am sure he will keep it safe. But it won’t be mine anymore. He has a huge coin collection hidden somewhere in his room. I don’t know if this coin will have the honor of his shelf or his collection. Both I know it will be just as beloved to him.

Then I hear things like, ” you’re not giving it to me, that means you love the coin more than me. And I know you love me a lot. So exactly HOW MUCH do you love that coin?” Yup. You really have to give yourself a few seconds before answering these doozies.

This same boy who was questioning our love over a coin brought me some sticks from school one day because he knew I like sticks. The story goes that I bought some colored sticks on Etsy as decoration. They are still in my house in a vase. He asked a lot of questions about those. I told them how I think they were made. Just some branches broken off some trees and spray painted, I told him.

So one day he collected some tiny branches and brought home for me, “I got these for you.” Unsure of the purpose I said, “why?” He said “because you like sticks. I collected these from school.” They’ve been sitting in my nightstand drawer since that day. I’m not sure about liking sticks, but I certainly like those sticks.

Here we are fighting over this coin, though. He’s most likely not going to stop asking, he’s more stubborn than I am. At some point, I’ll give in because the boy did collect branches from some random location for me. They are worth more than the coin.

That day is not today. I’ll keep it until he realizes what this coin is for, and why it’s important. When history becomes a little bit more important to him. Right now he just wants it because it’s big, and catches the eye. He wants it even more because I won’t let him have it.

In the 6 years he’s been alive there aren’t many things he hasn’t gotten that he has wanted. Anyone who has said to me, teach your children the value of money and tell them what it means to be responsible for what they own because it’s important to know what it means to be the lucky few who have everything they want, my response? Of course, they know. I teach them. I make sure they understand. I don’t buy them expensive stuff. There are rules for going to the store. One toy. There’s a price range depending on what country we are in.

Yet, here we are.

He wants a souvenir he doesn’t understand, expensive, and almost priceless and I am not able to make him understand. My excuse? “This is a different case”.

Just like that case was different when I bought him the extra set of dinosaurs because he wanted to make a dinosaur land because that was a “learning project”.

And then that case was different because the younger one couldn’t make a whole farm with his Magna-tiles so I bought him another set. That’s a mind stimulate activity, right?

I don’t regret those decisions, I do regret being a hypocrite though. I know I’ll continue to say I teach them the value of a dollar because in a way I do. They don’t buy expensive toys or more than one toy at a time. Now if only I could learn it myself, and teach them by example as well.