Self Reliance In A Codependent World: Lessons For My Teenage Daughter

Learning to be self reliant in a codependent world is a rare gift that I hope you will find to be extremely liberating.  To my sweet Elisabeth, remember that everything I say and do for you is a calculated move.  That’s one of the blessings of motherhood.  You’re forced to think ahead for the sake of your children.  

It’s a funny thing to sit and chat with children about how you grew up.  The dynamics in every family and culture are so different. The times have changed drastically too.  I remember being in school and participating in various activities during our field day. Remember those?  That was the best day of the whole school year for me.  Getting your class to compete against your friends and their home room teachers in games of tug o’ war, what a blast! The number one thing I remember was winning in order to get a medal and ribbon.  Mediocrity wasn’t celebrated.  We didn’t get ribbons for participating.  We didn’t get our names printed on the school newsletter or paper for acknowledgement of participation.  We had to earn that.  Nobody ever suffered everlasting scars of torment from it.  Everything is so different now.  You can’t celebrate one person’s accomplishments without acknowledging every last tidbit everyone else did.  I’m here to tell you sweetheart, that you need to grow up.  You’ll have to be tougher than that if you want to be a strong, independent individual.  Being coddled that way isn’t teaching you anything other than to feel entitled.  The bad news is-The world doesn’t owe you a thing, okay?  

Recently, I was on Facebook, swiftly reading through posts and I came across one that caught my attention.  A young woman was on a tangent about how no one she knew ever liked pictures of her and her husband, she continued on about how she speculated this was probably due to jealousy.  Jealousy?  What if people weren’t on Facebook that day, or use automated posting apps like I do?  I seldomly have time to get on and actually read posts.  Most of my stuff is auto scheduled a month out.  Besides, why did people have to comment or like these posts?  Was she waiting on people to celebrate a picture she’d shared?   Naturally, my mind wandered the more I read on this….I forgot to like it and comment.. but that’s neither here nor there. 

As my oldest I hope I’ve instilled in you the caliber of my very pungently strong being so that you don’t feel you have to rely on the amounts of likes and comments left on social media platforms as a means of validity for anything.  You my dear, should know your worth and what you bring to the table.  Never wait for anyone to celebrate anything for you as a means of definition as to who or what you are or what your happiest moments mean to you.  Remember what I always say, it’s quality over quantity. I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies when it comes to the people I surround myself with.  I thought about this young lady and her post for several days, I began to think maybe she felt entitled to have people falling all over themselves to compliment her and comment and like what she was sharing.  I’m supposing no one ever explained to her that someone else’s opinions shouldn’t matter to her so long as she’s happy.  As I delved deeper in thought I came to the conclusion that only a person wearing a mask would care what anyone else thinks.  When you’re truly happy with yourself and what you’ve accomplished is someone else’s happiness for you really that relevant to your being?  Is that what you’re going to allow to gauge your overall happiness?   

Gloria Steinem Quote

I guess your old lady could be wrong where this young woman is concerned, I mean I’m no expert.  I’m just an over analytical fart.  In essence what I’m saying is, thank you for listening when we talk to you.  I hope you never change.  My hopes for you are that you continue to march to the beat of your own drum.  You’ve taken risks in competitions at school that ultimately would’ve scared the bejeezus out of me, and that makes me proud of you.  You’ve never stopped to check and see if the world is going to applaud you.  That thrills me because the world doesn’t stop to applaud you.  It doesn’t have to.  You’re doing what makes you proud and happy.  You’re not stopping to look around to see who’s watching.  You’re only stopping to help others along the way.  That’s a sign of a flourishing young woman.  Your self reliance and self confidence are shaping you each and every day and they change and grow with you.  Continue on with your balance of confidence and humility.  Stay hungry, stay focused, stay humble. 

Love, 

Mom

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My Little Texas Tornadoes 

Kids are the best. Being a mom to a teenager and a toddler can only be described as the perfect combination of wanting to snuggle and understanding why some animals eat their young. Balance. Life is all about balance right? 

We recently took my Mom in law and family to Fredericksburg, Tx. They’d never been and we decided to go at the spur of the moment. 

The family members without kids enjoyed wine and beer tastings, I got to visit all of the children’s boutiques and could only window shop from 30 feet away for fear that my toddler had suddenly developed the ability to cut glass with her fingernails and melt fudge with the same eyes she uses to try to burn holes into me. 

Her first chocolate crush

So we swung by the candy shop because it’s frowned upon to always be the bad cop and outside they had a life sized M&M and a bench with lollipops attached with cut outs for your face. I said to my oldest “let’s take your picture!” She ran over and put her face in the hole. Then my little one ran towards the bench and  climbed up to sit in it. I said to her “Pumpkin, why don’t you put your face in the hole too?” 

I spy a little Texas Tornado
 

Apparently the one time she decided to listen I wasn’t specific enough.  I got some flack from people on Facebook for this.  Just some good old fashioned fun and teasing. I was thrilled she’d even followed through with my request that I didn’t care which way she was facing.  But I did get quite the tickle out of this. She’s quite the smart ass.  

I’m sure she’s looking at the camera and smiling on the inside
Remember these?
Chocolate covered bacon
Chocolate covered jalapeños & chocolate covered pickles
My little Texas tornadoes

It was a fun trip, my two Texas tornadoes. One testing her wind strength and the other doing all the damage possible whether her winds are strong or not. Two completely separate storms that come together to reign my powers of motherhood in and make me laugh at the fact that they have my snarky personality. I’m fighting my own reflection.  

When the lights go down in the city
“When God Created Mothers”

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.” 

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.” 

The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.” 

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.” 

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. 

God nodded. “One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word. 

“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”

“I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.” 

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed. 

“But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

“Can it think?” 

“Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator. 

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak,”she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

” What’s it for? ” 

“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

“You are a genius, ” said the angel. 

Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.” 

― Erma Bombeck, When God Created Mothers

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Toddlers: Untamed Hearts

I’ve been told many times that my life should be recorded, or that I should do stand up comedy. Hardy-har-har. Probably because the joke’s always on me right? So, I’ve mentioned a few times that both of my girls have my wild untamed heart. It’s true. They’re both wild in their own ways as am I. But my little one, oh boy is she giving me a run for my money. You know, I haven’t quite figured out why I’m being punished. 

My mom tells me I was a good girl. Excellent in fact. I ate everything she made me, even told her what a great cook she was, I spoke in clear complete sentences by the time I was a year old. I took my naps, I was early to rise and early to go to bed. My kindergarten teacher Mrs. Stephenson told my mom I was the best napper in class. I was a bit of an over achiever if you ask me. 

My little one on the other hand is on a mission from God (I believe this to be true with all my heart) to allow me the opportunity to test my better judgement or just straight up see if I can live the rest of my life in martyrdom. 
Anyway, we were out buying some scratch off lottery tickets a few weeks ago. It was a warm Texas day. I was wearing my green cropped muumuu. So it wasn’t an ankle grazing one but cut to the length of the knees. My little one has had a love-hate thing going on with Disney’s Frozen. On this particular day she was loving it. She was singing and swaying the back of my dress from side to side as we waited in line. Despite my many pleads to get her to stop playing with my dress, she continued to ignore my requests and sing. As I got to the counter and I finished paying she was simultaneously ending her rendition of Queen Elsa singing Let it go; Coming to a close while belting out “The cold never bothered me anyway” she made her grand finale by lifting my dress over her head and shoulders exposing my granny panties to everyone waiting in line behind me. 


This would’ve been livable if I had great legs or nice rump. In my mind it should’ve played out like the woman pictured above. 
Instead, as I swatted my hand onto my dress to clamp it down and hide my granny panties, whilst speaking through gritted teeth and telling her we were leaving. I turned to face this. 

The cashier stood frozen, hand covering her mouth and the woman in line behind me shut her eyes and began nodding her head side to side keeping her lips tucked into a tight line where she was fighting off the laughter that was threatening to bust out if she took one look at me. 

I quickly bustled towards the door with my little one close behind and as I reached up to push it open my little one had taken a few steps back into the convenience store to eyeball some hotdogs and announce she was now hungry. I had no choice but to look back and face the people I was so desperately trying to leave behind. 

All I could see was the line of people behind me staring and laughing hysterically. Thanks Pumpkin. Nothing on earth is quite as exciting or humbling as being your mom. 

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