hey, optimism! get back here and do your job!

Parenting’s a caper. Being a mother, I love, being a parent, I could leave out. I don’t know why suddenly I’m seeing this big distinction. I never separated the two, but lately I have been. Mothering seems to be about love and parenting about rules – probably you don’t wanna be doing one without the other.

I’m trying to understand my sons.  It’s a gig.

Big H told me off yesterday for complimenting him. I like praising him and I don’t do all that not under my roof stuff. Now I don’t know what I’m allowed say.

Last week Kancho Robert told karate Boy, ‘For your homework, I want you to do five push-ups, five sit ups and five star jumps everyday.’

This morning I reminded Karate Boy and he said, ‘But I’ve got my school homework.’ He stamped his foot. ‘Now I have two lots of homework’.

Raised voices echoed like Hell in the bathroom.

Later it occurred to me that for Karate Boy exercising is homework.

Stephen King Junior has more story ideas than he has time for and I’m still jealous. He’s good. Except on the hottest of nights he’ll a wear a t-shirt, a long sleeved t-shirt, and two pyjama tops to bed.

‘Aren’t you hot, honey?’

‘No,’ he says, and finds another layer.

I’m not going to over think the amount of clothing he wears because there is already too much I don’t understand.

Nope, I don’t get these kids.

But I barely understand myself some days. What I do know is the older I get, the dumber I feel. Most of the time that’s okay, I embrace my dumbness, might as well, it’s not going anywhere soon, but cuddling up to your naivety takes optimism.

Life is a confidence game.

Fake it ‘til ya make it.

Fake it until you become it.

I love those sayings. I like to pretend I know what I’m doing. Especially for meeting people, talking to groups, and learning anything new on my computer.

I have never heard anyone say, as bewildered as an optimist.

I’m confused. My optimism has taken a hit. And you need optimism to carry off a good saying.

Thankfulness seems to require optimism.

Parenting likes optimism.

Faking it so you make it needs a good, strong, positive attitude.

Still, I have an idea.

Did you know that when you smile you can’t but help to feel happy? Try it. See? Happy. You can feel it in your face and your eyes, your brain can feel it.

So Big H doesn’t want me to compliment him? I don’t know what to say except that my sister says I’m not big on compliments either. She’s right. This is yet another thing my son has in common with me. Smile.

And Karate Boy hasn’t done his sit-ups etc. After school I’ll do them with him and grin through the pain. Smile.

‘The Vikings and Horror Rock’ is the title of Stephen King Junior’s next project. He’ll have that thing in the bag by dinner and I’ll be jealous, but envy equals motivation, so thanks, SKJ. Smile.

I made mistakes this morning. I yelled. After the first raised voice I told myself no more, take it easy, but I went to town in the kitchen and nuts in the bathroom. I have to let it go.

The thing is, and it’s something we forget (including me when I’m having a less than optimistic couple of days), we are people first and parents second.

Yes, I can drive a car and a computer, can feed and clothe my sons and can even make cappuccino, but I’m occasionally silly. I forget things, I shriek, I set rules for my children and hope they follow them. All this, and I’m as dumb as the next human.

Isn’t that great?

Smile.

What's not to smile about?!

What’s not to smile about?!

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