I look at my children often, imagining what kind of adults they are going to be, wondering if there are glimpses even now. There are so many things that I want for them – for The Hare I want her to be more flexible and less of a perfectionist. I worry that she is too intense all the time and needs to slow down. The Tortoise I want to be more organized and motivated. I worry that she isn’t passionate about the things that I think are important.
Over the last 10 years my relationships have changed dramatically – childhood friends, parents, new friends, and reunited childhood friends, even myself. I kept thinking that some of my relationships have struggled or grown because I had changed so much as an adult. I don’t know if that is really the truth anymore. Last night we had a party. By the end of the evening I couldn’t help but take inventory of all the different personalities and generations that filled the rooms. Everyone had enjoyed a home cooked meal, free flowing margaritas, funny anecdotes and serious conversations. The kids were still running around the house playing games, watching movies. But what really got my attention was how content I felt. There was no anxiety or worry about how any of my comments would be perceived or if my entertaining skills were adequate. Quite the contrary. I realized that I really haven’t changed much. “Popular” wouldn’t be a title that I would have crowned myself as a child or now, but I do make friends easily and love having people around. All kinds of people – there is no “type” of person except for core characteristics: honest, loyal, compassionate, forgiving.
I’m not any taller, my hair isn’t a different color, my body isn’t more conditioned or curvy (quite the opposite actually), I don’t hide my emotions better, I blurt out exactly what I am thinking especially if you have offended me, I worry about things beyond my control, being silly comes naturally, I apologize all the time and forgive almost everything, I never hold a grudge, I am impulsive one minute then painfully slow to change the next minute, I sing in the car, laugh when I’m nervous and cry when I am happy…all of these physical or personal traits have always been apparent. So I have not really “changed”, just my perception of myself has changed. I actually like who I am now, flaws and all.
So perhaps there are glimpses of what kind of adults my children are going to be – I’m just foolishly focusing on all the things they are not. Instead I should be building them up, encouraging them to like who they are right now. Embrace the young women that they are already.