"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kindness Is Not My Job

I love it when I see people being kind. Makes me so happy. I feel kind when other people, even people I don't know are kind where I can see it...even if they weren't kind to me.  If I have the foresight, on bad days, especially bad parenting days, I look for it around me.

 Yesterday I was driving to get A from work at the end of the day and I spaced out at a red light and didn't notice when it changed and the guy behind me didn't honk he just waved at me in a friendly way after I winced in his direction. What relief! Then I noticed at the next corner that the dog walker and her scowling pooch caught in a sudden shower got to cross the street early, sprinting for her dry apartment gratefully because another driver rolled down his window and hollered at her to "Go for it!" while he paused traffic to let them cross. (Am hormonal so I almost teared up there.) At another intersection I saw a young trio of clearly fit runners out jogging with their elderly relative (mom? aunt? grandma?) who was having trouble convincing herself to go on. They were flanking her...running extremely slowly, matching her pace and talking smilingly to her to keep her with them....all the way down the street. And man, do I know how it feels to be unfit and jogging...so hard, so embarrassing and so beyond humiliating to be jogging with runners younger and healthier than you are, what dignity those youngsters gave her in her pain. Potent. Hits me like a sucker punch.

I am really struggling with parenting right now. Trying to figure out how to get my boys to be physically gentle, to use respectful words, to be generous instead of greedy, to have remorse over their errors, and to understand that your success doesn't come from whacking all the other people down a peg or two. Lots of this stuff is super important to me, and lots of it is extremely baffling to me to teach. How in the world do you teach someone out of greed? I have so few answers sometimes and I feel so helpless as a mother.

I do know that often these things iron themselves out some as kids grow. I'm still going to keep working on instructing the boys about good character and maintain some household standards, don't worry. But there's a piece of this that is just getting older...and also some piece of it that is completely the choice of the individuals who are my sons. I'm not sure how to separate all of that and decide what to worry about and what to let go...but I do know that on some very real level I need to let go. I cannot control it all. I am not Mistress of Morality and sometimes all I really am substantially, is more grown-up.

In times like these I like to notice people being kind. Big people, people who don't know I'm watching, people I don't know from Adam, anonymous grown kids out there doing good things to other folks without their moms advice or knowledge....without any prodding at all. It helps me believe that one day, some of those folks will be my boys. And even if, (God help me!) some or all of my children choose a path of miserly, unkind living...it is not all on me to seed the world with good souls. I don't need to carry that on my head. There is always good. Good wins...It doesn't need me to make sure it does.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment