If the eyes are the window to the soul, our children are the window to our character.
Barring all the egomaniacs, I assume that all parents want their children to get all of their positive traits and NONE of the pesky negative little buggers. This is what you want for your children, is it not?
Yes, of course children learn more from what we are than what we teach, and so on and so forth. However, there are also genetic traits passed on to our children that, although we are responsible for, we can do nothing about.
Speaking for myself, I imagined that as a parent, I would be gifted a mini version of me and my husband’s characters. So my genius solution to parenting was going to involve the arduous process of ensuring that, with the benefit of hindsight, we could ensure that we would be able to (ever so gently) annihilate all the negative character traits that we passed on to our mini me, and straight up vigorously cultivate those we had learnt had fared us well!
Previously I had touched on the topic of how we just assume our children will take on our characters. I also mentioned how shocked and horrified I was when I learned that they also had their own characters. So, taking my ”Theory of Parenting” above into account, you can only imagine how many times I have been shocked and horrified in the past!!
On realizing that one cannot simply annihilate these character traits that my children received from me or their dad, I did a hasty 360 degree spin, and wished that my children in fact had MORE of their OWN distinctive traits.
So to sum up….they had their own characters……..shocked and horrified, it proved impossible to ever so gently (or fiercely) annihilate our unpleasant character traits in them …….shocked and horrified. But the biggest shock and horror was when I started learning more about myself from my children’s characters!!
Now the reason why I imagine my shock and horror was intensified, is because I have always regarded myself as being hugely self aware. And yes, everything I see in my children that reflects my character is not new to me. However, how these troublesome traits are perceived by other people is!! I was now experiencing my unpleasant traits from the another person’s perspective…..and I cannot lie…..it was slightly unpleasant!! This has been the real lesson for me.
Suddenly it is no longer being aware of my pesky traits, but trying to do something about them. Well that is if I am interested in becoming a better person….will get back to you on that!
The above has been highlighted to me over the past few months. I pretty much think a lot has been highlighted to everyone during COVID conditions, as we have been spending way more time with our loved ones, and have way more time to reflect…..never healthy for my psyche!!
During this crazy COVID period, I have uncharacteristically worried about every sniff, cough or sneeze that comes from my children…..because obviously…..it is all Corona!! This, evidently, drives them INSANE. The minute I hear someone clearing their throat…”why you coughing?” I inquire, assuming they will have a full medical diagnosis ready for me.
”Mommmmmmm……” will always be the reply…together with the mandatory eyes rolling to the back of their annoying little skulls.
So a few days ago, I decided to go for a walk to clear my head. Unfortunately, taking into account how cramped it is in my head, this method normally clears only 2,5% of the clutter…….you know, just to make a bit of room for new squatters. Anyway, my tried and yet to be successful methods of clearing my immensely cluttered head, are not what is important here. Once I got home, I sniffed…..twice….which is what I do when I have been in the cold…and Pepper, without hesitation, asked why I was sniffing. Now for a fraction of a second, I was getting into the required position to roll my eyes, when it dawned on me….Pepper was me….that’s me, that anxiety riddled maniac that I am….poor Pepper got that from me…..and it was not attractive!!
I had a similar situation with Salt a few days ago. I was always a glass half full kinda gal, and had a very low tolerance level with anyone whose glass was always half empty. Unfortunately Salt was the half empty chap. All through his childhood I tried to get him to see that darned glass as half full. Hours and hours of motivational chats, leaving some literature ”lying around”…anything…..anything to get his glass half full.
Pepper was neither. He did not have a clue how much was in the glass, but he just knew he had to get on with it. Like me….previously.
However in the last hmmmmph while , I have been a ”okay the cup is half full, but will it ever get fuller” kinda gal. So I have begun questioning this annoying cup, which might well risk me becoming that person who I had low tolerance levels for!!
So, yesterday, Salt pulled me aside to ask why I am always so stressed and cranky, as he was concerned about what it was doing to my health and well being. He recommended that I tried doing something about it. That was rich coming from a 20 year old man child, living at home with his mom….no worries or stresses……everything just laid out on that platter for his Lordship. But what struck a nerve was that my state of mind was affecting him.
Unfortunately, my children have always been extremely sensitive to my moods. I feel like I am constantly being observed. What makes it more unfortunate, is that I sometimes appear to be troubled, when in fact I am merely deep in thought, or having an introspective moment. It is that wretched resting face of mine which can be so deceptive. So I am often having to explain that I am actually fine, even though to them I appear to be troubled. I am aware of the problem, and find myself trying hard to have an untroubled expression at all times. This can get tiring mind you, as I feel as if I constantly have to be on guard!
Of course all children worry about their parents, but I do believe there are reasons for their elevated concern. Firstly, I am their only surviving parent, so my health is of primary importance to them. Secondly they are of the male species, which automatically makes them assume that without a male I am less capable, and also they are subconsciously aware of the fact that I do not have someone to share the emotional load with. So in their precious, protective and loving minds, they feel that my health and well being are their responsibility.
So the next day I called a meeting of the spices, and explained to my two concerned little men, that they need to stop obsessing about my well being, as it was not healthy for their well being.
“But mom, we have been telling you to stop worrying about us for years, and you still do,” said Salt trying to explain that it is not that simple to just ”stop worrying about someone or something”.
”But that is different, I am your mother,” I protested.
”Well we are your children,” Pepper retorted.
“Yes, but…..” I began, before finding an extremely urgent chore to attend to, and darted off.
So here I am, determined to try and not give a flying feather about my children, so that there will be no more troubled expressions on my face, so that they can stop giving a flying feather about me, so that we can all LIVE A HEALTHY AND HAPPY EXISTENCE!!
……let”s see how that plays out shall we???