I am still doing it. Whether or not you want to admit it, you probably still are too. It is a really good thing if you think about it, because if we aren’t growing, well then what are we doing? I like to laugh about all of the things that I have missed along the way. Sometimes our focus just gets so fixed on what is happening in the now that we miss out on learning some really simple things. These are some of mine:
I was in my mid-twenties when I finally figured out that the symbol for the United States Postal Service was an eagle. I had always believed that it was a guy in a really weird pointy hat. I don’t know where I ever came up with that idea, but I was honestly shocked to find out that it is actually a bird.
The song Voices Carry, by the band 'Til Tuesday…I completely misinterpreted it. I think that I was in my teens when someone had to point out to me that the lyrics were not; “Hush, Hush…Keep it down now…Cuz’ vampires are scary…”
I also never knew that fast food salt packets are meant to be broken on the dotted line, as they say of course. I had never bothered to read that, and I have been tearing them open all of my life.
I have finally figured out that there is a little catch on a zipper, so that if you push it all of the way in after you zip something up, the zipper will not slide back down and embarrass you…useful little thingie.
I have missed way more than these ones. It’s difficult to remember them all at the same time. Humans have a lot to learn along the way, and it is not surprising that we miss a few things as we go. After all, we all know those special, unusual, facts that no one else knows but us. I can recite all of the presidents in order…that’s my thing.
I have to remind myself how complicated it all is sometimes. When my kids are having a hard time with something or behaving badly, I have to remember to put myself in their shoes. Growing up is really hard. Look at how great they are doing…good grief; they’re still alive! Good job kiddo!
Maybe that’s a creative way for dealing with a tantrum or a breakdown. If we could just look our kids in the eye and say, “Hey listen, I know that this is all really hard. I understand where you are coming from. Growing up is tough.” Maybe your child’s reaction will surprise you. I know that the empathetic approach is something that I would have appreciated as a kid. I am giving it a try. I am still growing up, only now I’m growing up for my kids and for me.