School brings out the scared, picked-on, not very popular, always in hand-me down clothes, gap-toothed, insecure, child of a broken home, 12 year old in me. In my mind I time travel back almost 30 years and walk down that long lonely hallway lined with army green lockers and ridiculous construction paper themed bulletin boards feeling the eyes of the more popular kids looking at me and judging, pointing, laughing. It's never a fun trip, I assure you.
So you can imagine my apprehension as the start of a new school year approaches. My oldest is entering grade 1 and my baby is going to kindergarten and I am a bit of a basket case right now.
Now, I am not a basket case in the unprepared and procrastinating kind of way. Nope. All school supplies are purchased, backpacks procured, new outfits and indoor shoe needs are all taken care of. I am instead worried about who their teachers are, who they are going to be in their classes with, how they are going to mesh with their friends, new and old, if anyone is going to pick on them, and how they are going to navigate the big bad world of life away from me and the sometimes brutal 'Game of Thrones' that is the playground at recess.
The problem is that while I am internally freaking out about this, externally, I am exhibiting all of these issues that are completely mine as frustration and exasperation with my children. I am yelling more, I am not actually being present for them RIGHT NOW, as I am too worried about what will be happening a month from now. This in turn is making them incredibly sensitive to everything I say or do. My poor girl thinks that every time I tell her something or correct her about anything that she is in deep trouble and then there are tears, lots and lots of tears. 'Not so Little Anymore' C just goes straight to tuning out almost anything I say, in what I assume is a pre-emptive move before he hears me try to say something that he just doesn't want to hear or tell him to do something that he doesn't want to do. If I had a SASS-o-Meter for that one, it would be out the roof right now!
What I am essentially saying is that the level of communication I have with my children at the moment is seriously lacking. I don't really have an excuse for it either, aside from the incessant worrying and my own internal bullies that keep threatening to drag me back to that hallway to be slammed into a locker once again. I worried back then that I was never good enough for anything or anyone, that I was unlovable (yes, yes, I know, I have abandonment issues), and that I would never have any friends who liked me for who I really was. And now, I am afraid I am projecting these fears onto my kids.
I worry that my behaviour as of late, is making them worried that I don't love and accept them for who and what they are. C is always seeking my approval and asking me if I am proud of him, and L worries that if I say I love you to someone other than her that I don't love her anymore. Somehow I have neglected to let them know or tell them the following. I am ridiculously proud of my son. He amazes me everyday with his artwork and illustrations and his incredible grasp of numbers and the basic physics of his world. I love that he is such a sensitive kid and is not afraid to show his emotions, it's the part of him that I know he got from me. And my daughter? She is so much me that sometimes it is a bit scary. She is a goof, has her own incredible sense of style, is carefree and easy with her love and blows me away with her daily silliness and her imagination. I am not sure I could love her more if I tried.
All this worrying and the worrying about worrying going on around here over has everyone functioning at such a heightened level of tension that it really doesn't take much for any one of us to snap. And trust me, you'd think this was a house full of crocodiles with the amount of snapping going on and it is high time for it all to stop.
And I am the only one who can actually do that. (Being a grown-up sucks!)
My kids are not me. They won't have the same experiences that I did growing up and no amount of me worrying about what happened 30 years ago is going to A) make it go away and B) make my relationships with my children any better today. I need to focus all of that energy that I am wasting on worrying, on letting them know all of the ways that I love them and on ensuring that they are secure, confident, kind human beings, who will be able to navigate their worlds better than I was ever able to do way back when. It's time for a good heart to heart with my children and for us to hit the reset button before school starts and I COMPLETELY lose my shit!
If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess,
they would stop worrying.
Photo Credit: abbmona on Flickr
P.S. ...this may or may not be the first post for the 2013 #SummerBlogChallenge.