From the time I was born, life has been a series of events that were very serious in nature. When I reflect back on my entire life, it’s hard for me to recall the times that I was able to be anything but serious. As much as I try to have a sense of humor, it’s not something that comes easy for me. Especially when it comes to my kids.
When I was a child, life around our house was so serious, all the time! Living in a home with a seriously ill sibling will do that. Everything was planned, nothing could ever be spontaneous. It was a way of life. My parents were very modest people so I was never really exposed to the wild ways of the world around me. I was one of those who learned about sex from school and my peers – not that I am complaining, because honestly, I think I would have been mortified if my parents would have ever approached me with the topic.
My father was VERY strict when it came to my dating. I was not allowed to date until I was sixteen, and not a single day before. When I finally made it to sixteen, dad had his solid set of rules that included:
- The boy HAD to come to the door to pick me up.
- I was to be home BY 11 PM (not 11:03) and that meant INSIDE the house, not the driveway.
- If my date did not have a working watch, my father provided him one.
- My dad walked us to the car where he checked the gas, the tires and wanted to hear the car start.
- There was to be NO excuse for my being late.
Because of these types of rules, I learned to live my life that way.
- My gas tank is NEVER below a quarter of a tank.
- I always look at my tires before I leave the house.
- I always know the time I will leave and the time I will return.
- Someone always knows when I am going to be gone and when I am to return. If I am not home by a set time – come looking for me because I am missing.
While it’s good to have structure, there are times I long to be a bit irresponsible, spontaneous, and even fun! But how do you plan for such a thing?
I don’t always get the humor of others – and that sometimes causes problems. Just this weekend, my son appeared in a short little video his girlfriend posted. It was a silly video that most “normal” people find funny, but because it made my son look foolish, it hurt me. I tend to get my feelings hurt easily – it’s part of being too serious, and trying to do everything just right, I’m sure.
My son messaged me and assured me he was fine with it, but still, I don’t understand the humor in making others look foolish. Especially when it is someone you’re supposed to love.
I try to see the humor – but I just can’t.
Once I was grown, I did live it up a little before I had my kids. I went to many concerts where I was invited backstage. I found that with a little liquid courage, I could cut loose and have a little more fun. I danced on bars, I won a couple of hot legs contests, I dated a few sports figures and then I called it quits. My time of cutting loose had been well planned. When I found out I was pregnant, it was time to revert back to the more “boring” me. I knew I was going to be raising my twins as a single mom and that required the best ME I could be.
As a parent, I resented that I HAD to be the responsible parent who bought them things like clothes and shoes while their dad, the occasional weekend warrior, would buy them fun, cool stuff like remote control cars, a go kart, fishing stuff, etc. There were many Christmases that my little boys wouldn’t want to open presents that looked like clothes – which was most of what was under the tree.
All I could tell my kids was that someday, when they were about 30-years-old, and with kids of their own, they would know and understand what it was like to be the un-cool parent that I was.
Now I worry about being an un-cool grandparent. My first granddaughter is due in April and I want so much to be the kind of grandmother she adores and wants to spend her time with – but how can I make that happen when I can’t even find the humor in a stupid little video?
NaNonFiWriMo – The Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge, also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), where I have accepted the challenge to start and complete a work of nonfiction in 30 days. Read my other NaNonFiWriMo posts here