family, gratitude, home, journey, parenting

Reality vs. the movies vs. the rain…

Rain is great for the soul, I believe. My spirit craves to be out in it, twirling about, completely soaked and feeling blissful. If life were a movie, I would have woken up this morning, grabbed Genny and done just that. We would have danced and laughed, spun and splashed. I would have taken pride in knowing that this was one of those goal/dream-mother/daughter moments we each imagine we’ll have. You know, the kind she’ll remember forever, and set to recreate as special memories with her own children. A building musical montage would indicate that this really was the sort of moment our life as a mother-daughter duo was made of.

Unfortunately for both Genny and I, this morning, life isn’t a movie. The rain, it showers down around us, but real life shines through. Real life in the form of the deep set arthritis in a two-decade old knee injury. It tries it’s best to make me hate the rain, and it it almost succeeds. When it really wants to get the better of me, it works with my migraine riddled brain. Migraine brains hate the rain. Even beyond those things though, what may have been a fun moment, should the elements not have made it unlikely, the things she’s more likely to remember forever are the daily things. Some days have really great things, but she’s fourteen and that makes me the enemy most days. I’m not a fan of that. Most of the time it seems like she isn’t either, but she still goes with it. It’s weird, this teenager thing. I’m pretty sure I’m not doing an awesome job as a mom of a teen. I try to focus that I want her to grow up to be a kind, respectful, educated, empathetic and responsible adult. I figure that if I could focus on those things, maybe the other stuff will be easier to get through. Between you and I, it’s a lot easier to focus on that when she’s being much easier to get along with…

I had a friend with a now 17 year old girl tell me, recently, that 13/14 was the worst. This gives me hope.

And it’s not easy for her either, I know it. I hated being 14. It was my worst age, though thankfully for extremely different reasons. She’s on the brink of starting an entirely new high school where she only knows a couple of kids, and she isn’t really friends with them. That’s a bit of a nerve wracking thing, for sure. But she suffers from the movie syndrome a little, and I think that hurts her more than anything. See, she knows that life isn’t like the movies except for the fact that she expects life to be just like the movies. The friends, the boyfriends, the high school dances and experiences. This summer she had a summer volunteer job and she expected that to be just like the movies show summer jobs to go. It wasn’t, and the disappointment hit her hart. It turned to resentment and the last few days of her time there were spent complaining about the program leader and how awful it was. She expects us to be like a tv family. It’s hard, as parents, to compete with that. No matter what we’ll do, it will always let her star struck expectations down. It will be hard for her, as a person, to deal with the crashing reality of life, whenever she allows that to happen.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our worlds and how we often imagine them one way just before reality shatters them into being another. I’m not alone in this. There is a reason our nation (and not just our country, I know) has such a plethora of addictions. We are big on denial and pretending. It’s kind of like the town I live in. It’s a beautiful, fairly historic small town. From the look of it, and the way the community practices, it could be one of those “perfect” little towns. It’s absolutely gorgeous, everywhere. But if you lived in my house, for example, you would hear sirens A LOT. Tragic amounts, multiple times, every day. Sometimes to the point of bringing tears to my eyes because there will be so many, for so long, headed to a location near by. But that’s life, and life is the same everywhere. (though if you are my friend, and you are wanting a change, and missing me, this IS the perfect place to live and you should move here now because I am lonely!)

I guess, I’m no different. I instantly beat myself up over how we couldn’t go dance and play in the rain, which Gen’s tv mom surely would have done with her, BEFORE BREAKFAST even (that would have been warm pancakes with homemade blackberry syrup and likely not blueberry toast and tea.) which isn’t all that different. Maybe I’m not expecting my life to be just like the movies, but I’m obviously expecting more from myself than my reality can be.

To do list today:

– Be more graceful, in my head, with me.

– Remember the goal is the type of adult Gen becomes.

– enjoy the rain, however possible.

– clean my office (seriously… It’s a train wreck in here. That’s what I get for avoiding it for 6 weeks.)

– do something creative, of some fashion.

– charge my DSLR and stop taking pictures, only with my iPhone. Seriously.

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