Some, most, or possibly all of these images evoke different thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs. That’s my point in its simplistic entirety.
I was free to walk around, to take the pictures, to think what I wanted to think, to believe what I choose to believe, to feel what I honestly feel about each of the subjects.
I also was free to disagree with those who think, believe, feel, and value different things than I do.
The last photograph is of the plaque I found on one of my after-work White House walks. This time I was able to take the picture during the light of day without risk of frostbite. I thought it was an appropriate sentiment for this day.
You can hear at least half a dozen languages just walking around here for a few minutes, all of them happy to be here. On this late summer evening, I passed a woman sitting on a bench facing the White House, just as her phone rang. She told the person on the other end, “I’m just sitting here in awe.” I knew exactly what she meant by that. I feel that way all the time. Tourists snapping photos, tour groups getting the inside scoop, a wedding party posing for portraits, impromptu vigils ranging from one person to hundreds. Even when they completely oppose the current resident, they respect the building and its history and symbolism.
I have no idea what this person’s protest message was, but he seemed lost in whatever he was writing and he clearly passionately believed in his purpose, whatever it was. He didn’t stop, just kept writing, listening to loud Christian radio, oblivious to people stopping to stare at him. These people fascinate me.
I understand the point of view that there should be more monuments to peace than to war . . . but
. . . I also think Andrew Jackson and his horse look pretty impressive against a clear September sky.
I taught middle school early in my career, at the beginning of the movement to “mainstream” students receiving special education services, moving them from a self-contained classroom environment into the general classroom population.
Jeff was a sixth grader in one of the classes I team-taught with the Special Ed department chair. Try as we might, we couldn’t get Jeff to participate in class assignments. We couldn’t get him to pick up a pencil, much less the curriculum-required blue or black ink pen.
We couldn’t get him to dictate a story or a response to a question. We tried modification after modification, parent conferences, team conferences.
We worked hard to get a computer so that he could use a word processor. Even bribery (yes, it’s in the teacher bag-o’-tricks). Nothing.
He wasn’t a bad student, or a bad kid. He just didn’t want to do anything – seemingly because we wanted him to. We sensed he was probably fairly bright, but we were locked into a “Do it. / I Won’t” cycle that had probably been a pattern for him for years. (Apparently there had been a BIG power struggle – not just for Jeff but also for many of his peers — with their fifth grade teacher over writing in cursive. )
We could tell by watching him that he was taking things in and had some thoughts about it all. He just was not going to share and we couldn’t find a way to make it worth his while to do so.
I experienced many moments of feeling like an abject failure, and if it hadn’t been for the highly skilled, seasoned professional with whom I worked, I might have arrived at that conclusion early on and given up on both Jeff and on myself.
Although she felt the same frustration, my co-teacher had been through many similar challenges, so we didn’t give up on him. We did come to accept that we weren’t going to get much, if anything from him, but still we tried, hoping that some day something would click, even if we weren’t there when it happened.
For assessment purposes, the final exam diamante differed from the traditional form in that it had to include a metaphor, a simile, three verbs, and a summarizing statement of fact, all describing the writer. To achieve the diamond shape, the diamante began with the writer’s first name on line one and ended with the writer’s last name on the final line.
Exam day came, and Jeff showed up without a pen or pencil, much less a diamante. He sat through the entire session with the Scantron (“the bubble sheet”) in front of him. I don’t recall whether he even bothered to write his name.
He turned in a sheet with a few random bubbles filled in, left the room, and that was the end of our time together. There wasn’t much for my co-teacher and me to do or say about it. That was that.
Then, at the end of the day, I found a crumpled up piece of paper tossed on my desk at the back of the room. I opened it to find this diamante, which I have kept ever since in a little frame on whatever desk where I find myself.
Although I’ve altered the names for privacy’s sake, it is written in ink and was signed…in cursive. . . by someone who taught me a lesson worth remembering:
You never really know what’s going on with a person and people will surprise you in the nicest ways.
A traditional diamante begins and ends with nouns that are opposites. The poem can be used in two ways, either comparing and contrasting two different subjects, or naming synonyms and antonyms for another subject.
The subject is named in one word in the first line. The second line consists of two adjectives describing the subject, and the third line contains three verbs ending in the suffix -ing which are related to the subject. A fourth line then has four nouns, again related to the subject, but only the first two words are related the first subject. The other two words describe the opposite subject the lines then are put in reverse, leading to and relating to either a second subject or a synonym for the first.
As with most things that I can’t change in life, I have come to appreciate the positive things about commuting through Washington DC five or six days a week. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast, but traffic doesn’t, so you might as well look around while you’re sitting in it. There’s a lot going on out there.
The most interesting things happen when I’ve forgotten to put my camera on the passenger’s seat or when it’s not safe to use it, either because of traffic safety or because the subject of my fascination might be inclined to take retributory action.
I wouldn’t blame them. A person should be free to do whatever they want in full public view, if only to entertain the commuter population.
The sinkhole that shifted my consciousness.
Several months ago I took a different route home because of a sinkhole that had closed off several streets on my usual route. What a gift from the universe that sinkhole was for me. It hadn’t occurred to me to drive through DC’s Chinatown neighborhood on my way out of the city.
Or maybe it had and at that point I wasn’t ready yet to deal with the tourist element. Tourists, jaywalkers, taxi drivers willing to U-turn from the far right lane to pick up a mini-skirt wearing fare, and Metro bus drivers with felony records are a driver’s worst nightmare. But the sinkhole detour shifted my consciousness on that view.
The Chinatown neighborhood, which is teeming with tourists and all those other traffic hazards, is my favorite place to be stuck in gridlock. There’s so much going on there. Plus, it smells like sesame chicken. You gotta love that.
So many people from all over the world meander the streets there, many of them stopping traffic to have their picture taken in front of the Friendship Arch. I don’t mind stopping for this because some of them, usually after an extra long happy hour, strike some interesting poses. Every once in a while I want to ask if I can look them up on Facebook. But I don’t because I don’t need to find myself mentioned on Facebook as “. . .some crazy lady who tried to chat me up in DC.”
The very next day was the beginning of the sit-out I’ve been staging. My sit-out is the opposite of a sit-in; instead of staying in place and refusing to leave, to get my point across I tried for a few days to leave during daylight hours, refusing to stay chained to my desk.
On my commute home, feeling free as a hippie who’d only logged 7.5 hours that day, I found myself sitting in traffic near the Friendship Arch, basking in the aroma of sesame chicken, people-watching to my heart’s content, and enjoying life in the moment, when my theme song came on the radio.
As luck, or the universe, would have it, I had remembered to have my camera riding shotgun. I took a picture to prove to you that it really happened, although I’m not sure why you wouldn’t believe me. I admit to a certain amount of hyperbole, but I don’t make most of this stuff up.
I forgot about that until one night this past week when the universe treated me to a traffic jam in that same spot and when I looked to my left, I saw a group admiring this way groovy car. This is now my favorite intersection, the intersection of peace and friendship and sesame chicken.
I wish you could smell what I smelled. Mmmm…sesame chicken.
I am a proud member of a village that has successfully raised two village people. Somehow they managed to survive bandaged knees and chicken pox, lost lunch money and forgotten field trip permission slips, losing seasons, winning seasons, stage fright, mean girls, puppy love, and broken hearts.
By now we’ve been through the stages of separation necessary for them to go off on their own to do the things that young villagers do. Still, one part of the child-rearing process lingers:
The village is starting to pile up with shoeboxes.
Every time I buy new shoes, I put them neatly on the shoe rack in the closet, and start to break down the box for recycling.
Free to a good home. No, wait. Someone might need these.
Then I freeze. And a slight panic sets in.
Someone might need this box. . .
You know how that always goes. . .
As soon as you get rid of it, someone will need a shoebox.
After a lifetime — two lifetimes, actually — of looking at shoeboxes as vessels to hold sidewalk chalk, finger paints, scissors, glue, Barbie clothes, baseball cards, rocks (not the pretty ones — the dirtiest, grungiest ones he could find), Happy Meal toys, squirreled away allowance money (we’re certain my son is already well on his way to a secure retirement) and things I’m probably better off not knowing, I can’t look at a shoebox as just a shoebox.
Nor can I reason with my more altruistic self that cutting it down and putting it in the recycling will help the box find its way into serving some other village in some other helpful way.
No, not me.
I look at a shoe box and imagine that at just about 10:30 pm, someone’s going to call to tell me they justremembered that their Social Studies diorama project is due tomorrow morning. You never know.
Maybe they’ll want to paint them and turn them into colorful “bricks” to build a living room fort. You never know.
Or maybe this year they’ll start waxing nostalgic and will want to make a gingerbread village for Christmas. You never know.
And so the boxes pile up, because once you’ve been a responsible member of a village, you understand that it takes a lot of shoeboxes to raise a child.
There is something about the sight of the Washington Monument that takes me back to a grade-school field trip. Our lunch break for that year’s outing was a picnic on the grounds surrounding the monument.
I remember a beautiful day, with people flying kites. I had a bologna sandwich, with American cheese and mustard — plain old yellow mustard, none of that brown junk — on white bread. A very 1970s American bag lunch.
The perfect setting for a bologna and cheese sandwich.
I think that’s the day I fell in love with this town and looking at the monument, even on a dark, chilly night, takes me back to that beautiful, sunny day.
On the return route from my walk that night, I passed what looked and sounded like a revival tent set up on the Ellipse, between the monument and the White House.
A policeman quietly sat guard while those in the tent sang and danced and praised. I love that they were free to exercise their freedoms of religion and speech and that he was there to protect that as much as he was there to protect that important residence just across the field.
On my way back I thought about this election season and what many regard as the “ugliest” presidential campaign “ever.” I disagree. It hasn’t been pretty, to be sure, but I don’t think it’s been necessarily uglier than any other.
Maybe I’ve tuned it out. Maybe there are just more access points for those who are technologically tuned in. Maybe I see ugliness, mean-spiritedness, excessive self-interest everywhere.
We Americans are obsessed with catfights and reality show ”alliances,” blood-sucking vampires and flesh-eating zombies.
We disregard rules for our own convenience all the time. So why wouldn’t our elected representatives reflect those values and mores?
There are hard-working, well-intentioned leaders here, too. They just aren’t shiny enough to be noticed, and sadly, too many have given up and gone home.
A plaque on the front of a building near the White House reads:
In essentials, unity;
In doubtful matters, liberty;
In all things, charity.
It really struck me as an appropriate thought so I looked it up when I got back.
The quote has been attributed to St. Augustine, but scholars have identified a more complex history, which you can read about by clicking here. Regardless of who first said it, there must be a reason it has stood the test of time.
It is undoubtedly a tough town and there are many days when you wonder if even your dog likes you, but then there are nights when you take a stroll and encounter visitors who come from all over this world to see these places for the history and the freedoms they represent.
I know the prevailing attitude toward Washington DC isn’t terribly positive these days. There are days when I’ve had just about enough of it, too. As I walked around last night and passed by people from all walks of life, and then stood in line this morning to vote, alongside people with whom I may agree or disagree, I have been reminded of my great fortune in working in this town and being a citizen of this country.
This election day seemed like as good a time as any to share these things with you. If you haven’t yet voted, I hope you will. It’s the best way to make a difference and it’s very American – kind of like a bologna and cheese sandwich.
Somewhere in a law school classroom, a lovely young woman with a funky, contemporary fashion sense shifts uncomfortably in her seat, unaware of the drama that is unfolding . . . and refolding . . . and unfolding again some thirty miles away. She is not aware of any cause for concern, yet there is this slightly nagging sense that the delicate balance of the universe has been set askew.
Fig. 1: Funky, contemporary fashion accessory.
In her world everything is as it should be. She is prepared for today’s lecture. The sun rose this morning. It will set this evening. When she left home, the neighbors were lined up awaiting the opening of the liquor store near her apartment. They will be there when she gets home. The bus came on time. It dropped her off on time. Down the road a-piece, her mother is preparing for work, probably wearing black. Again. The Orioles lost last night. A day like any other.
Still there is this uneasy feeling, this sense that something in the universe is not as it should be.
In her ever-optimistic perspective, today is another day for The Birds, and come next Tuesday she’ll either be cheering her heart and her voice out at Camden Yards or going to the theatre with her mother, who always wears black. All is well. Except for the black. Why must she always wear black?
I know two things that this lovely young woman does not yet know.
I know that she has inherited a keen and heightened intuition that the women in her family have possessed for at least three generations. It will grow stronger as she gets older and it will, to employ the vernacular, freak people out.
She’ll be hoppin’ on wavelengths, having odd dreams that come true — although none of them ever involve anyone winning the lottery or coming up with a cure for cancer or
anything . . . noooo . . . because that would be just too darned useful. And she will have this sense that creeps up on her, which she will shrug off each time, until the reason for it later reveals itself. It will bother her because she will understand that it’s a pretty nutty thing to talk about and people will wonder about her sanity. But they’ll also be wondering how she knew to say X or do Y, when she didn’t know to say or do those things. It just happened.
This is why some time before the end of the day, without knowing why, she will feel compelled to call her mother, wherein she will learn the second thing I know that she doesn’t yet know.
And that is this.
The second thing.
Somewhere down the road, her mother is taking to heart the gentle criticism this lovely young woman with the funky, contemporary fashion sense offered the last time they were shopping together. It went something like this. . .
NotReallyAHippie Mother: What do you think of this blouse?
Fig. 2: What’s with the hatin’? It’s beautiful and versatile and, most important, slimming. Look how svelte that letter A is . . with no cosmetic enhancement!
Funky/ContemporaryFashionSense Daughter: Love it! My favorite thing about it is that it is not black.
Thus the lovely young woman’s mother is dismayed, looking at the only thing in today’s wardrobe line-up, a plain black dress. With the weather finally cool enough, tomorrow is going to be the first official donning of The Uniform (black turtleneck, jeans, and black boots), which will be standard for the next several months.
She recalls yesterday’s black slacks. Three consecutive days of black are too much even for her, especially this early in the cool months.
She decides to take a page from her daughter’s book and add a scarf. A pink scarf. A bright pink scarf. The one she bought because it reminded her of her daughter’s contemporary fashion sense. The daughter rocks pink. She rocks scarves. Maybe that’s why her daughter is so cheerful. Maybe it’s the pink. . . or the scarves. She decides to give it a try.
Fig. 3: Seriously, how hard could this be?
The NotReallyAHippie mother wraps the scarf loosely around her neck, the way she has seen the lovely young woman wear hers. The look does not translate when she checks the mirror. She unwraps, tries folding it a little, re-wraps. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
She thinks to herself that somewhere up the road in a law school classroom, her daughter is probably sitting uneasily in her seat, with a cute scarf wrapped perfectly around
her neck, wondering why she has this uneasy feeling that something is wrong in the universe.
The end. Or so I thought.
I Swear I Am Not Making This Up.
In the middle of the afternoon, the NotReallyAHippie mother is surprised to receive an email from her lovely, yet very busy daughter. This is a verbatim excerpt from that email:
P.S. I am dressed like a hippie today. Flowing shirt, moccasins, and new turquoise necklace [boyfriend] brought me from Turkey. I thought you would approve.
Fig. 4: Some thirty miles away, a law student is dressed like a hippie.
The plan was to leave the mids dancing on my screen for the week. I wasn’t going to post today or tomorrow or all week and if I have any self-discipline at all, might check in once a day at most. There’s a bike that needs riding and some rooms that need painting and you don’t need to know about any of that.
For this one last check in, I read today’s post at Teachers and Twits (aka Renee, whose new computer has arrived and isn’t that a wonderful thing?). She wrote something that spoke to my inner summer girl, which I read while sipping coffee and watching the sun rise over the marina, where the coming days and weeks will see the slips empty and the shrink wrap appear on those that remain, confirming the approach of winter.
I, too, am a summer girl. Over the past few years I have come to like fall, except for the dread of winter that lies just beneath its surface. This year that dread crept in in August and I almost skipped the beauty of September, my favorite month. I’m spending this last week reminding myself to live in September.
Tastes best with two straws.
The first boy I truly loved I met at a football game in the early fall, but my favorite memories of him are from the summers that followed. The day trips to the beach, the pink teddy bear he won at the arcade, the mock argument over what her name would be, the lemonade with two straws, his vegetable garden that grew waaaaay too much zucchini, which he then made into all sorts of zucchini dishes, his homemade apple pies, the boat he built by hand and named for his mother, the maiden voyage of the Margaret Ann, the time he walked me to the door, kissed me goodnight and did cartwheels back to his car, every single Christopher Cross hit.
I’ve been looking forward to the pumpkin spice latte days, but I already miss lemonade.
The trouble with grandmothers began when I came across a postcard published in 1965 that featured a picture of my grandmother standing in front of her restaurant. So much about that postcard intrigued me, even beyond my initial reaction, which was that in 1965 she was about the same age that I was as I stood there holding it. In the photograph she already looks like my grandmother, whereas as recently as just a few days ago, some new acquaintances were surprised to learn that I am older than dirt.
I wondered why the postcard existed in the first place. Surely she didn’t have an advertising budget and even if she did, she wasn’t the type to pose front and center to advertise anything. One of the few things I did know about my grandmother is that she was even more guarded about her privacy and less inclined to want to be at the center of anything than I am. In fact, even as I type this sentence, I imagine some lightning-fast cosmic slap on the wrist coming across the dinner table for a breach of etiquette and discretion. My grandmother did not suffer fools.
So many ideas came to mind about the way the building has changed and yet remained the same in an area that has changed but also has remained the same and the parallels to the ways my grandmother’s life and mine are different and yet are the same.
Sportsman’s Restaurant with Mom’s Home Cooking. My grandmother was Mom.
Ledo’s Pizza. My grandmother was not Ledo. Whoa-oh-oh-whoa-ohhhh.
That post never came about.
Because of you.
Well, not so much you as . . .you.
Those of you who, if you’ve even read this far at all, might be wondering, “When’s she going to get to the punch line?”
The fact is there was one, in the caption of that second photograph. I removed it out of respect for my grandmother. I’m leaving the caption because it was just as I tried to remove it that my keyboard stopped working and I had to replace the batteries for the first time in however many years I’ve owned it. I choose to take that as her nod to Boz Scaggs rather than as a cosmic slap on the wrist. She did have a whimsical side.
Back to you.
The timing wasn’t right for a serious, reflective post at the time that the postcard came to me. Either I’d just written something silly and had picked up a number of new followers who might be thinking they’d found another humor blog and would be disappointed . . . or I’d just written something serious and reflective and I thought it best not to ask you to endure too much of that.
I spend a good deal of time thinking about how the audience I’m building shapes the topics I choose, the form that it takes, and the purpose of writing it at all. In fact, it tends to shape the purpose of the blog itself. When I set out to write a blog, I didn’t anticipate any of these things. I just intended to have a place to say things.
So I filed away the postcard and the related musings because it seemed time for something light and funny.
Abuelita tells the story of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo through the voice of a grandmother talking to the grandchild she has never known.
(photo credit: Silvina Frydlewsky/For The Washington Post)
Rosa Tarlovsky de Roisinblit’s picture puts a face to the story in the song. She is now 92 years old and every day she goes to work, continuing the search for her own daughter, Patricia Julia Roisinblit, and the grandchild she has never known, as well as about 400 still-missing children and grandchildren kidnapped by a military junta supporting a dictatorship in Argentina from 1976 to 1983.
There was so much in this experience of reading this article about these grandmothers, putting a face to the story that has touched me in song for such a long time, that I wanted to write about. But again, I decided to wait for another day.
Once again the timing wasn’t right for something so deep. You, whoever you are — either for real or in my mind, expect different writing from ”the Hipster” .
I Need Younger Friends
Earlier this summer I came closer to finally having an audience-worthy post about grandmothers. First a friend of mine who is younger than I am became a grandmother. I found this somewhat difficult to comprehend. I still find this difficult to comprehend.
Then a few weeks later I was in a car with several other friends, all hip, cool, totally righteous babes, who were trading updates on . . . their grandchildren. One turned to me, flashed her gorgeous Faith Hill-lookalike smile and said, “Sorry, you’re with the old folks tonight. You’ll have to put up with this grandmother stuff,” to which I replied, “Yeah, I was just thinking I’m going to have to start looking for younger friends” and then we giggled and went about laughing in the face of osteoporosis.
You might have liked that story. It’s more what I imagine you expect from me. Still, it was lacking something.
A grandmother to the rescue. ((PHOTO) Twitter: @selirebekka6 via Christian Post)
You may remember this story from a few weeks ago. Queen Elizabeth II made the headlines when she was spotted driving her Range Rover wearing a hoodie.
What to the world was Her Royal Thugness was to me a grandmother doing what grandmothers do: taking care of her own.
Before there was Topless Kate, there was Bottomless Harry, who learned the hard way that what happens in Vegas does not necessarily stay in Vegas when one is extraordinarily famous, wealthy, and unclothed.
All the world was a-Twitter with news of Prince Harry’s naked bachelorette party romp and then, in what seemed to me to be a fabulously well-timed photo op, the Queen was spotted rollin’ in style.
Suddenly Harry’s youthful indiscretion was old news and the Queen’s fashion statement was the new shiny thing that captivated us.
Maybe it’s because of the women of her generation that I’ve known, most of whom have been dignified and refined ladies, yet tough as nails and full of spunk.
I imagined them in her same position thinking, “Oh dear. How shall we handle THIS mess?” and then taking matters into their own hands. I couldn’t help thinking that when I saw these pictures. It amused me, and I thought if I wrote about it, I could share that amusement.
But I didn’t.
Because of me.
I was glad to have finally come upon the grandmother post that was appropriate for the blog and I probably would have written it as HoodieGate was unfolding if not for real life issues of time or whatever else was going on.
By the time I did start to write it, I saw these other grandmother ideas that I was discarding in favor of the silliness about the Queen (God save her for saving Harry) and I started to think about how many ideas I would write about that are important or at least interesting to me that I don’t write about because they don’t “fit” with the blog’s “purpose.”
Like many others I see writing on this issue, I don’t know what the blog’s “purpose” is. I know what I intended it to be: a place for me to say things.
Somewhere along the line, I wrote something that resonated with the kindness of strangers as “humorous” and I started to pick up followers (this still amazes me and I very sincerely thank you). I started to choose topics and then write in a voice and format that I thought would appeal to that audience and more and more began to discard the other ideas that are equally, if not more so, reflective of who I am and what I think about.
When I realized I was discarding ideas that really ‘coulda been contenders,’ I was a little disappointed in myself for not writing true to who I am. When I step back and look at the blog as a whole, I remember the response of the first person I showed my first post to. It was someone whose opinion mattered to me. He laughed as he read it, but then when he finished, he looked at me and said, “Who would read this stuff?”
I’m so thankful to you, yes you. . . and you. . . and even you, for reading my posts, even if from time to time, I post something that doesn’t resonate with your particular kindness.
I still find myself lacking any particular purpose, but maybe the search for purpose is a purpose unto itself.
I imagine my grandmother reading that line and thinking, “Get yourself out of that chair and get to work.”
The woman did not suffer lazy, introspective fools.
(This post is a follow-up of sorts to an earlier post on using a pre-writing thought process based on FATP in the process of writing for a blog. You can find that post here. )
You may have noticed that my semi-regular Dear Guest Blogger series has been more semi than regular of late.
Or you may not have noticed. Or you may have thought, “Thank goodness she gave up on that silly idea.” Whatever the case,it’s back, with the highly coveted advice of Peg from Peg-o-Leg.
I like your pin shot. I keep it with your letters.
Most of you know Peg, but for anyone who may have found his or her way here looking for pictures of “birthday cupcakes” or ideas for “stocking stuffers for hippie husband,” you owe it to yourself to head on over to her place and check it out.
Not only does she give great advice, she’s a heck of a saleswoman. Even if you don’t need a whatchamadoohickey, Peg will convince you that you do and she’ll make you laugh to boot.
As a mother and an experienced advice-giver, Peg seemed like the person to ask about this delicate issue.
Thanks for your advice, Peg!
I suspect that my daughter has been writing to a popular advice columnist (we’ll call her “Jane”) instead of turning to me for advice.
At first it just seemed like an odd coincidence. Letters to “Dear Jane” included scenarios that one would think unique to our, let’s say, ‘quirky’ family dynamics.
I was troubled but relieved, mostly because Jane’s advice was highly supportive of the writer’s mother in each scenario. I tried to put it out of my mind.
Then a few months ago, I helped my daughter move. As we
They grow up so fast. Then they ask strangers for advice.
sorted clothes, she held up an old sweatshirt and said, “Jane says it’s ok to keep this but she is concerned about how many words it took me to ask her, so she reserves the right to change her mind.”
Peg, I think it’s the same Jane.
I’m not sure what to make of this. I’m usually the one people turn to for advice, and my own daughter is going to a stranger, in a public forum.
I’m turning to you because you are a mother with experience in offering good advice, also in a public forum.
Do you think I should be concerned?
Sign me, Somebody’s Mother
I wouldn’t worry too much about this. It’s only natural for our adult children to turn away from us as authority figures. The fact is, although you may be a veritable wise crone of the village, one rarely appears as an expert to those who know us well.
It’s hard to see someone as the “Oracle of All Wisdom & Truth” when you have grown up watching them, at certain times of the month, unwashed and unkempt, curled up on the couch with a Whitman Sampler and a box of Kleenex, watching Full House reruns and crying “I never should have had children!”
She makes a good point.
Take my own situation. My brother is a dentist; board certified and everything. But do you think I’d let him anywhere NEAR my teeth with a drill? HELL no! He may be 45, but to me he’s just my snotty-nosed little brother – always was and always will be.
No, it’s a universal truth. As the old saying goes, “You’re never a prophet in your own home town.”
And that’s just what I told your daughter the last couple of times she wrote to me, asking about that same sweatshirt, her inability to make fashion decisions, and your inability to accept her as an adult capable of making her own choices.