Growing Up – A personal point of view of parental responsibility
I don’t do normally do this, deviate from exposing child abuse and child abuser tactics to talk about personal things not associated with child abuse – as a survivor or a child advocate. There is more, though, to child protection than instructing people on the evils of child abuse and things that put children at risk. One of those is how a parent views his or her position in their child’s life, and how we as a society influence children in various ways daily. I’ve been a parent for 8.7 years – 9 if you count the pregnancy, and I had the benefit of watching my parents’ many failings and some success with my four much older siblings and myself for 36 years. I’ve, also, reached a point in my life where I realize a few things and shared them yesterday on a regular site I belong to with others I share my life with from time to time. I thought I’d post that blog here. I just feel it carries an important message for those new to parenthood, considering parenthood, and those who may not take parenthood as seriously as they should. It’s light but deep. Enjoy:
My daughter and I were riding to the local Pagan shop this morning .. okay, 30 minutes away but we’re in the “bible belt”, so we get what we can take .. and I was flipping through the radio stations looking for a good song. She has the Nutcracker Suite in the CD player, but one can only take dancing sugarplums and Russian bakers only so much!
One station had a rap song about hoochies, crack, and getting laid by a hundred different women a night. Another had a country sounding song about high class sluts, beer, and getting laid by a hundred different women a night. The next station was a song BY a slut getting drunk and getting f*cked by a hundred different guys in one night. I’m exaggerating the “hundred” part but I’m not lying about the themes.
After about 8 stations that either contained those songs, commercials about sexual gratification, or DJ’s encouraging men to secretly photograph their women naked and send them in to be judged, we continued down the highway listening to waltzing flowers … again … for the dozenth time in two days. (it’s their Christmas pageant CD)
As Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece filled the truck, I started thinking about the crappy music on the radio, realizing that it wouldn’t have bothered me 15 years ago. My mind carried on through the journey of music that accompanied my attitude and mentality throughout my life, and I realized in that instant that I’d grown up.
I was always more mature than my age when I was a child (The Monochromatic Unicorn), but I lost it when the church took control and when so many bad things happened to me. I was still a good kid but I had a tendency to not care too much how things I liked affected other people. That was nothing like the little girl I once was, who worried herself sick when an unintentional careless word or action made someone feel sad or offended. I didn’t like shows or music or stories that made light of the suffering and sadness of others, and I refused to have anything to do with it, regardless of what my peers thought or said of me.
We all know how we were as tweens and teenagers. I wasn’t as bad as most I knew, but I had my arrogant and all-knowing moments. I even had my own personal saying, “I never repeat myself. If you don’t hear me the first time, that’s your problem – not mine.” And now I’m a mom. Imagine how that philosophy is working out for me LOL.
Driving down the highway with overplayed, albeit beautiful, music playing as rain fell and the windshield wipers squeegeed back and forth, it dawned on me that not only had I grown up, not only had I rediscovered that inner innocence, but I was also very much at peace for the first time in my life. I almost felt this when I was a child, but I had the misfortune of my family to overshadow it.
I’m not saying I’m perfectly content. There are bills, an unstable life due to the military, no house of my own, yadda yadda yadda .. But me, personally – the way I feel inside about myself and who I am, I am finally content with myself. You don’t get this as a rebellious teen or a young adult fighting the system and everything else that doesn’t make you, in all your selfish glory, happy. You don’t see it when you’re that age, though. Even when you think you’re happy, you really aren’t.
You know that saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”? The other way works, too. You don’t know what you were missing until you suddenly have it or wake up to it. You realize it when you’re ready and you’ll know better than to take it for granted or whine about it. I’m talking about growing up. Maturity. It’s like a soft, warm, plush blanket that you feel being wrapped gently around you, and no one can take it away unless you let them.
I find meaning in the little things sometimes that lead me to greater understandings of the universe. This morning, it was being a mom and refusing to let trash radio infiltrate my daughter’s mind. Mommyhood is pretty damned awesome.
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