Today’s Post is Today’s Miracle!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer
yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know
what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
~Dr. Seuss

I think it safe to say that all parents want better for their children than they had for themselves in all areas of life… economically, socially, spiritually, intellectually.  If you are a parent who happens to be a recovering addict, you have an additional set of worries, and, if you are like me, you can obsess over what you perceive as red flags.  For example, if your 10-year old son makes too many jokes about beer, you worry that he is thinking about alcohol at too young of an age, and so therefore he must be an alcoholic.  Or if you find Halloween candy in the room of your 12-year old (yes, I did say Halloween, and yes, it is April 2nd), you worry that if she is hiding candy then surely she is on her way to hiding alcohol or drugs.

This is exaggerated, sort of…

So, anyway, back to today’s miracle.  I glanced down at my daughter’s painted fingernails this morning, and there appeared to be writing on them.  I asked her what the letters represented, and she told me the initials of all the boys in the band One Direction.  My husband tried hard not to roll his eyes (with little success), and I complimented her on the artwork (it actually looked professional, I am seriously impressed).  Now, I am not trying to pat myself on the back here, but of her two parents, I am definitely the more tolerant of her new pre-teen attitude and sensibilities.  Mainly because I was once a 12-year old girl, and I vaguely recall the drama and angst that goes along with that time in a girl’s life (for me, at her exact age, there were no boy bands, just Rick Springfield, but there we teeny boppers lucked out… he was on the radio AND on the television, as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital).

But here’s where I get really excited.  As much as I loved Rick, I was never as outwardly expressive of my love as my daughter is for her crush.  She has such self-confidence, such a lack of inhibition, and such a love of life, she has no qualms about expressing her emotions, whether it is on her fingernails, or hugging me and telling me she loves me.  And I’m telling you, never in my life have I had such a sense of self, or such freedom of expression.  It sounds corny, but it warms my heart to know that she is totally free to be herself.

Last week we were having a semi-serious conversation about anorexia, and how that disease can be almost contagious within a group of girl friends.  When I told her my experience with the way the disease can spread (I used to work in residence life at a college), she scoffed at my examples.  “Mommy, that would never happen to me,” she proclaimed.  “As long as I think I am pretty, and I do, then it does not matter to me what anyone else thinks.”

Now, seriously, that those words came out of a child of mine, is that a miracle, or what?

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Posted on April 2, 2013, in Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is a must comment post for me. (I love when I’m here when you post.) We’re opposite here, my son is 13 and my daughter 10. This post cracks me up. I am so like you. I’m all about the expression of feelings, regardless of the expression. As long as it isn’t mean or hurtful (to self or another) it’s allowed. My husband is the eye roller here and I love that too. He says it’s his expression and I need to accept it too. He got me on that one.

    The candy hider at this house is ME. It’s so funny because I do it and everybody knows I do it and I still do it anyway. Something about “hiding” … I hope I grow out of it. My kids just laugh at me and tell me they know I’m hiding it. They, however, have gotten in the habit of not hiding and it shocks me. I see the Easter candy wrappers in the trash and I think “I would have hidden those as a kid.”

    Again, my kids growing up before me. Teaching me to be the adult. I love it. And I love being sober to experience all of it.

    Thanks for the big smile today. xox

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  2. There is not much better than a twelve year old girl who,likes herself. I remember that as such a hard age to be. Hurrah for y’all!

    Teaching children how to not be embarrassed by who they are is one of the most important things I can think of. It always shocks me when mine come up to me and look me in the eyes with full on love and say, “I love you, mom.” And then they kiss me and hug me and I feel so amazed that another person in the world thinks of me this way. How to help them keep that so they can show that affection to friends etc. How to help them keep being human and not hiding in the corner.

    I loved Rick Springfield too! I actually saw him in concert. Then along came Duran Duran. 🙂

    I’m the candy hider too! The boys are gone this week and I’ve been eating their chocolate bunnies. It’s totally obvious. And every time I sneak a bite I think, “Oh! They’re going to know! Chomp!” 🙂

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  3. Yep, I am so guilty. The candy hider and my kids know – boys. I would like to say something though about alcohol and kids. Mine are 15 1/2 and 18 and the 18 year old will be going away to college in the fall – 5 hours away. My children do not drink. They will not even touch the stuff and I say this because of Passover Seders. They have always been strict in regards to drinking because of what it has done to me. They did not meet my father until my mother passed away – my oldest was in the 5th grade. The reason they never met him was because they were told he was dead. A choice I made, my ex husband and mother followed along with – I told them I did not want him around them. Yes, a stupid mistake, but I had a reason and I could not allow him to be around them. When my mom died, the boys went home with me and my dad wanted to meet them – he actually wanted to – requested. He spent all of 15 minutes with them – he promised to join us for lunch and I the stupid idiot thought wow, maybe this time it would be different – NOT. Anyways, fast forward a few years and my dad is very sick – 5 hours away. I spent many nights on the phone with doctors, social workers having conversations that my kids should not be hearing, but they were with me and I could not get away. Many discussions were held in the car while driving. My children saw and heard things that upset them and in the end, my father chose to drink instead of having chemo and radiation for a cancer that would have been treatable – who could have had another year and met his grandsons and spent time with us. but he chose to die and I had to agree to it because I had his power of attorney. He was expected to live at least another 3 months in hospice. The plan was to take the boys to visit him within a few days. He died less than 24 hours after I spoke to him. My last words were not I love you but lots of words trying to get him to understand that his choice would result in death and that is if what he wanted then fine. (i hoped he would re-consider) After everything, I told my boys this – “if you want to drink or whatever other addiction such as smoking, go right ahead. but know this – look what it does to the people who love you. You want to hurt yourself – fine – but – look at what it does to the people who love you – it destroys us inside”. I am sorry for rambling – it just came out. sorry.

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