Monday, June 26, 2017

Personalities



Personalities fascinate me.  There are a lot of ways to be.  I think there's a certain arrogance in thinking that our way is normal and that everyone else is wrong.

But it is easy enough for me to think that way.

Marianne and I have talked about this.  There are ways our children are different than we are and as they get older and ever more independent, it's a little painful sometimes to see them go their own way. If they were like us would it ensure their happiness and success?  I don't think so but who ever said motherhood is rational.

Here's a good example:

Emma is now master of her own laundry domain.  She took the sheets off her bed and washed them the other day.  Before she left for work, I said, "You should put clean sheets on your bed before you go then you won't have to come home to that."

She said something noncommittal and didn't make her bed before work.

Every time I walked by her room, I felt a pull to go in and make her bed but I resisted the urge because then I would teach her (ha!) that I am wise and she should have listened to me and put the clean sheets on before work.

When she got home and it was late, I couldn't help myself (because I rarely can) and I asked, "Don't you wish you'd made your bed before work?"

"Nah," she said, "I was looking out for Past Emma.  Past Emma didn't want to do it and I've got her back."

It was stunning to me.  I realized I almost always look out for Future Thelma.  I do the things now that I don't want to do later.  It had never occurred to me to look out for Past Thelma.  Do the things now that I didn't want to do then.

Emma happily went to her room and made her bed.

Clean sheets on the bed before work or after work?  Doesn't matter.

I am a big proponent in honoring your truth, your personality.  I will make lists and plan and you make it up as you go along.  I'll sleep in a bed every night and you go on a week-long backpacking trip.  I'll start preparing for Christmas in October and ignore Halloween and you proclaim Halloween your favorite holiday.  We can all be friends.

Sometimes we have to do the awkward thing, even though it reaches us beyond our comfort zone.  For example, sometimes you have to be the YW president and be in charge and lead the group and feel like a fraud who will be found out in her incompetence any moment.  Other times, you only have to help your husband with youth conference.  You help plan and shop for the food, you make dozens of muffins to send and you help load the trailer, all delightfully behind the scenes.

Times and seasons.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Yes, sometimes it is difficult to see my children's unique personalities manifesting so differently than my own. But then I remember that I definitely do not set the standard for "normal"! We all have our little quirks, it makes life interesting! I love the bit about "future/past Emma and Thelma". I look out most often for my future self, maybe I'll consider my past self once in a while. Love this post so much!

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