Wednesday, November 28, 2007

chicken soup for the cynical

Recently, my 8-year-old told me he likes Mondays (and Wednesdays and Fridays, and he had a reason for it - something about how much faster they go because of the schedule those days, but my point is that first part. He likes Mondays.) Being the original-thinking grown-up that I am, the thought rushed to my head, "Yea, you're gonna grow out of that one." But I didn't say it. I barely escaped it - that almost unquenchable need to pass on terrible, redundant, cynical adultisms onto the clean, every-moment-is-a-discovery slate of my children's psyche. Here are some more things I don't ever want them to assume, but which deep down I either kind of sort of believe or I find myself tempted to spew as if I believe . . .

Times goes fast. They grow so quickly, the seasons are shorter than they used to be, you blink and it's gone. They're all kind of true - I even say them, but it's really a subtle way of admitting perhaps I took it all for granted, and I don't really want to do that.

Here's one: I hope they don't take as long as me to try varied foods. I eat foods now that I don't even like all that much, but I appreciate the variety. And I wish I'd gotten to that point sooner.

Being the grownup at Christmas is not as fun as being the child. Not true. It may be harder to believe the magic, but we appreciate it more once it's found.

Jobs are things we endure but don't really enjoy. It's our own fault if we aren't in a job we love or at least like or at least have found in it a reason for which to be grateful.

Activity is basically that necessary evil called "exercise" and we do it because we have gotten too fat. At this point, my children love going to the Y. It's a total game to them. They envy Michael and I because they aren't old enough to use the treadmills whereas if we would just shoot baskets with them more often and run around the living room when the mail comes or every time that really cool commercial comes on, than maybe we wouldn't need the treadmill.

Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and anything else that is cool and mysterious is always only a hoax. Hey, you never know.

Celebrities really are prettier people, it's not digital trickery. Growing up in the technical age, it won't take them as many behind-the-scenes featurettes to stop believing this as it has taken me, right? Who am I kidding? I haven't gotten it YET.

And finally, a few more things I will never say to them and I hope they never believe: You probably won't really be a professional football player when you grow up, it's not really that amazing that you can spell "ostrich", and it's not that socially acceptable to watch Nemo in a laundry basket.

If only I could keep all the bad away. .. .

4 comments: said...

There are days I'd LOVE to be watching Nemo from a laundry basket instead of folding clothes into one. I loved the comment about running around when the mail comes. I actually love it when the mail comes. I always hope some wonderful person has sent us a big check. (Hey, like Bigfoot, ya never know!)

Anonymous said...

I used to agnoize....hey who am I kidding, I STILL agonize over the want of shielding DD from ANYthing that could hurt him, emotionally more so than physically now that he's older. I would take the hurt on mySELF to have him not go through it. But then, I'm told, he would never learn the skill set to deal if I did that.
But, I'll always want to anyway.
Your words brighten my day!
oh and I'm going to watch tv from the laundry basket tonight, what a GRAND idea! :)

Anne Dayton said...

I don't have kids, but I love this post. I often find myself being cynical, but this is a nice reminder. Thanks for sharing.

Roger & Andrea said...

You are so smart.I am just thankful that you have learned this early in your "mothering days". Believe me there will be a time and place for "reality", but watching Nemo from a laundry basket just isn't one of them :)