Life lessons often come in the form of resistance, don’t they?
What is it about us that sometimes we not only get pinged with our stuff, but we stubbornly refuse to see ourselves in the mirror of truth?
I think I have body dysmorphia in reverse. Well actually, it might go either way, but I resist it so much that I don’t even want to Google it, so bear with me. You know how people with anorexia will look in the mirror and see a skeletal person looking gimormously fat? Or they will see their reflection and perhaps find fault with some tiny little “fault” that really translates to “normal” or even “attractive”?
Well I am the person who sees fat and thinks it is not fat. If my pants are getting tighter I blame it on the dryer or a little bloating and when it comes time to get new pants I’ll think,”Oh they must be making them smaller these days,” even though I know for a fact it’s the reverse.
As we age we do tend to put on the pounds and especially in our midsection, which I gave up on when I had my last child at almost 41. I was appalled by what I looked like a month after having him, and the doctor said,”Oh don’t worry about it, it’ll just disappear in the next couple of months.”
Forgive me for laughing at that kind comment six years later. Not only did it not ever go away, but as soon as I stopped breast feeding all the weight (and then some) came back. It brought its friends Permanently Cracked Heels, Excema, Bunion and High Blood Pressure along for an extended stay.
Yes it’s true that some of them are diverted when I run around the basketball court with the boys in the summer heat every day for a month and swim on the weekends. But they have other Cousins like Back Stabbing Pain, Limp, and Bad Knee Joint that camp out for a few weeks immobilizing me and that is probably why I look at my pants situation and sometimes say,”The hell with it.”
There are times when I know my husband is not going to be available for a long stretch and all of the stuff for the kids falls on me, so I will trade Immobilizing Pain in for Unprofessional Appearance and let it be.
I knew I was on a new frontier one day when I was led to a book on healing the body and I could not look at it. I read the Foreward and a couple of weeks went by. I said,”I’ll just read the first chapter,” and distracted myself with nonsense instead.
Leave It To Spirit To Show You What You Are Doing In A Comical Way
I met a lady who has an astonishingly gifted three year old.
Her son was begging her to let him go to school because he was bored with the babysitters. She was looking for a summer camp with music and art, and found one in the local private school for gifted kids. They only allow enrolled students into the summer school, so she took him for a day’s visit and he loved it. She is not sending him.
“I am not ready,” she said, in her heavy Russian accent.
“Right,” I said. “But he is ready.”
“No. I cannot do it.”
“Why not?” I inquired, confused.
“Well they told me for this visit I needed to pack a lunch and two snacks. Two snacks! I did not have anything for this, no lunch box. And he needed to be there by nine a.m.!”
“You know, in kindergarten, they have to be in their seats at 8 a.m., so you can work your way gradually to getting him up earlier.”
“Oh, it is not him, it’s me. I don’t go to sleep before 2 am and he stays up until 11pm or midnight every night.”
“Your three-year old stays up until 11 or 12 every night??”
“Yes. That’s right.”
“But, is he getting enough sleep?”
“He naps for four hours every afternoon.”
The point was that she is a night owl and she cannot imagine shifting her schedule. To her, it is literally impossible. She thinks that 6 pm is far too early to be required to pick up her child. When a child has been on the go from 7am until 6 pm, that is a long day. That’s why school gets out around 2pm. Unfortunately many of us work full-time and racing out at 5pm to pick up by 6pm can feel like we are in the demolition derby and be really stressful when the freeway backs up. We don’t want our kid to be the last one at the door looking for Mom or Dad, wondering why they are the last man standing.
Not this lady. To her, her life is primary. She likes the babysitter because when she has “things to do” after work, she can just call and they will keep her child until 8 or 9 or 10pm at night.
I was trying not to laugh. I was!
She is convinced she cannot change. She doesn’t even want to change. She is now a mother and especially since there is no Dad or Grandparents in the picture, she will change. It’s not like she is not a caring parent, she just does not get it yet.
I try not to gossip but I had to pass this story along over lunch with two other working mothers, one with 2-year-old twin girls and the other with kids in high school. The three of us just looked at each other and laughed and laughed.
Mothers are pretty much at the mercy of the child and the school calendar, and that’s it. We automatically look for ways to solve problems, the homework rotation, the best lunch boxes, the required clothes, the birthday party attendance requirement. I notice that Dads usually pull this off with no stress but then again I don’t know any single Dads so I’m not sure if it’s genetics or the fact that the Dads I know all have wives pulling the heavy load behind them.
I tried to explain to my Russian friend that when you have an advanced kiddo like hers, who is reading and doing basic math at just-turned-three, the best thing (and the hardest thing) you can do for them is find them other kids to hang with who are on their level, regardless of age. Maybe at 3 it doesn’t matter as much, but eventually she is going to have to find this child like-minded friends.
Just like eventually I am going to have to crack open that book.