I had to take a few days to gain some perspective on a few things that have happened this week, and now that it’s behind me, I had to write about it. I’m not going to tell you the details of what happened; just that what came out of it was the realization for me that not only am I an adult, I’m responsible for other human beings and the reckless, goofy, boob flashing (sorry dad) days of my past are just that – the past. I feel a little conflicted about this. I mean, I know I’m a grown up, but at what point does being grown up equal boring? At what point does being grown up mean wearing mom jeans and driving a minivan? (I know I’m probably offending some of you out there, I apologize, it’s just my feeble attempt at trying to make a point)
Clearly, I’m going through a time in my life where I don’t want to lose my identity as “Kate” and yet, some of that identity is tied up in where I was ten years ago, or even earlier. I can’t quite get past the fact that I have two little girls who look to me every day for guidance, rules, examples…and yet, I still think fart jokes are REALLY funny, and talk of body parts sends me into pre-pubescent fits of giggles. I’m sorry. I just can’t help it. My girls are getting older, and with that, there comes more responsibility on my part to show them what is acceptable behavior, not only for myself and for them, but also for girls in general. What does that even mean? Frankly, I’ve never been one who feels comfortable with “acceptable behavior” – just look at my hair, my tattoos, my multicolored Chuck Taylors and my off color sense of humor. How do I display what should be while not losing myself in the process?
One of the things no one tells you when you become a parent is how much of yourself you will lose in the day to day stuff. That one day you will wake up and grab the keys to your minivan and wonder where the girl went who said that she would NEVER drive one. You will go shopping and grumble under your breath about the rise of jeans or the length of skirts. You will get your hair bleached blonde – something that used to be fun and part of your persona – and afterwards, you will look in the mirror and wonder if it’s just too much anymore. You will hit your mid to late 30s and you will wonder where the line is between the fun girl you used to be and the example you are setting for your own young girls. I guess in the end, I don’t know why it’s not ok to share my love of fart jokes, crazy hair and off color humor with my girls – because, really? What is life without some sort of humor?
I’m trying to maintain some of that humor these days. I’ve realized that life is too short to worry that much about what is the right or wrong thing to do. A former student from my preschool passed away this week at the age of seven. Seven. And I can’t even imagine what that is like for a parent to deal with - that is another story altogether - but I’m guessing that at the end of the day, even Cameron would tell us not to worry as much as we do about all the details of right and wrong. Because, in the end, the fact that your child can tell a wicked fart joke probably means less than the fact that he or she was loved unconditionally – crazy hair and all.