If a stranger had to explain the essence of Lindsey, I don’t think that you would get too many varying degrees of what makes me, me. I mean, sure, you’d probably be able to find an ex-suitor or two, that would have their own opinions, but I feel, as a whole, pretty consistently this:
Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, morning-tastic, mostly organized, type A-personality. You’d probably find my negatives pretty quickly in that I’m not so eager, I can be a little skeptical, I cuss at oddly inconsistent times, and I will fight tooth and nail over something relatively simple. Let’s just say that even though my dad told me to ‘pick my battles’ several times throughout my life, selective hearing was strong.
Then, I became a parent.
And while I knew my kids would obviously be different from who I am as a person, it became pretty clear, pretty quickly, that not only are they different, they are almost my exact opposite.
Taylor, my oldest, started Kindergarten this year. If you asked my parents what I was like on the first day of school, if I was old enough to understand what a middle finger meant, I probably would have been giving them it as I cheerily walked away. Not because I didn’t love them, but because I had bigger and better things to be focused on.
I was, what you would say, rambunctious. I was ready to experience the world, move into new things, new places. Even in my ‘old age’ I’ve never quite settled. My idea of a good time is proving to myself, and my husband, that I will never sit quietly, a point I proved on our cruise itinerary that included towel animal sculptures, trivia, scavenger hunts, karaoke, and anything BUT relaxing.
And Taylor, well, Taylor is everything that isn’t listed above. I joke, but in all earnest, she’s more charming, caring, loving, calm, empathetic, and home-oriented than I ever could be. In reality, sometimes, I feel like she’s the mom of the household, and I’m the awkward kid looking for a later curfew. Which leads me to a conclusion, shared so insightfully from a friend.
We get what we aren’t.
I bring in Kindergarten because it’s been a fight – every day at drop of is a tear jerker. And yes, whatever suggestion you have in your mind right now as to how I can better handle it, I have tried it.
But it’s so important in the trials that we have come to know as Kindergarten, to remember that Taylor just isn’t me. I think that’s one of the singularly most difficult things as a parent – trying to understand who the hell our kids are while they are trying to figure out the same thing.
I fill in the blanks for her behavior with the context of my experiences, my personality, and I come to very confusing conclusions. Whereas my fulfillment, at times, comes from adventure, hers comes from the known, the comfortable, and the familiar love.
And while that doesn’t always help my patience levels while we are on the 90th day of drop off and the tears are still falling, it has helped frame my perspective on why this is so damn difficult.
So it’s with my best wishes (and solid secret handshake) that we as parents go forth and fight our natural responses to our children’s behavior, and more critically assess how they might best respond to a situation based on their personalities. In other words, God Speed, keep up the good fight, and when all else fails, here’s some wine?