They say that as a parent, you are prone to be at odds with the child that is most like you. I fought this for many a moment in time; ”No, he can’t be like me…..I was not like that….EVER.”
Granted, there are many traits in me that I treasured as a child that I do not see in my 15-year-old….these are the characteristics that I really liked as a growing youth and continue to hold dear to my heart as an adult; nurturing in my own offspring.
With the exception of finding those treasured pearls within my own son, there is an alchemy of features that do not sit well – as I am looking into that mirror that reminds me of those faults, those wrong turns, and those self-induced fogs that lead to dead ends.
Profile of a younger me:
* Ran around with the smart crowd – the very smart crowd (but I was the exceptional high C/low B academic)
* Came home and wrote notes to my girlfriend (anything to take my mind off of school….and those notes were creative and festive and glittery….and…constant).
*Had 1 good friend in school. One single solitary really good friend. I had acquaintances all about, and roughly around senior year, I expanded on those friendships, but for most of my highschool career, I capitalized on that one friend. It was a true bummer when she was absent from school or not able to go on school trips.
* Totally knew who I was as a teenage girl. Never understood the dramas that I was forced to navigate through with like peers. Annoyed me to no end. I knew what I wanted to be, I was sure-footed, my decisions were cemented and rarely did I waiver. Why did these other girls have such problems.
* Found the whole ‘classroom scene’ not to my liking. Didn’t pay attention in class…but doodled instead….BUT, on those times when I *did* try to put myself in good standing, I faltered (as my foundation was already cracked) and that simply led me back to my old ways of disregard to the educational system at hand…it was all “their” fault; not mine.
* I became comedic relief for those around me; hiding the fact that I was not getting those A’s or being picked for NHS, or recognized by instructors or even being accepted into desired collegiate campus. I was smart aleck Katie that blew in with the wind and offered that fresh air approach to life that was seemingly desired by many.
All these mentioned above, I see in my 15 year old. Clear as day. This is not the path I want him on; but I know that it is his life to follow. I am not falling back on parental mantras that are heard daily around here; but I am cognizant that somehow I made it through …. a harder road than should have been….but i made it through.
He is also very street smart (much like his mother) in regards to manipulating his scene to suit him. My husband sighs at times when he sees the odd angles my son takes to solve his life problems and couples those sighs with an outward statement of, “He *is* your son.”
I manipulated like the best of them and writing this, a smirk falls upon my face.
~ I took credit for a roughly tweaked Poe poem and to this day wonder if my teacher, who gave me an A was in on the gig. ”Katie, this piece is better than Poe,” he wrote at the top of my paper.
~ I wrote in my own grades on my report card and easily changed D’s to B with a slight of hand and good pencil. Too bad this did not work on Official Transcripts.
~ In a strict Catholic High School, I wrote an english paper on Lesbian Nuns.
~ I bought Goodwill clothing and ripped out the tags and passed them off as my own in Home Ec class.
~ I would switch out the absentee forms that were placed outside the classroom door, as to erase the fact that I was absent from class – then I would go off campus during class time….. not smart because then I would typically flunk the test the next day. I was only really caught once, when my dad came by the school to pick me up early, as he was in the area. Katie was no where to be found.
~ At our catholic highschool, the girls were invited to the very large Nun House in the Diocese. My 1 friend and I accompanied the senior student body into the deep dank hallways of the ‘nunnery’ and at first chance, we escaped. We ditched the large edifice and at one point, ran out in wide open space as we sprinted across the sprawling green lawn. If memory serves, I think we took a city bus back to school and then got into her car and took the day off – but it was really quite pointless. Two teenage girls thinking they were so brave actually went back to the ‘nunnery’ and sat outside waiting for the girls to board the bus so we could time our arrival back to school with theirs. In hind site, it was pretty lame.
These are a few that come to mind…not major by any standard and altogether harmless…but wonder if my own son does anything of resemblance?
Sometimes I feel like I am just the pot calling the kettle black. He does not need to be wise to my antics of yesteryear but it really helps me in dealing with his.