Thursday, February 25, 2010

MOMISMS...pithy asides, succinct sayings and one-liners to live by, with, or in spite of...

February 25, 2010

We continue with MOMISMS today, this one relating to our teenaged children and one of the many ways that they contribute to our physical appearance.

Teenagers' life experiences act as nature’s Botox.

And, of course, you know I’ll explain this. So, if your household is like ours, and I’m guessing it may be more than a little bit, the best conversations you have with your teenaged child is when you’re in the car driving. Maybe there’s something about not looking directly at them, not being able to utilize too many hand gestures or the simple fact that you cannot make any sudden moves or dangerous maneuvers, lest you both become a traffic statistic. In their heart of hearts every teenager knows that their parents have deeply ingrained survival instincts, so safety will always win out.

Many is the time when I’ve sat behind the wheel, thinking I am simply taking my youngster to someone’s house for a visit, unaware that this is actually a momentous occasion – my child is going to share her life with me!

Now when this happens, as is the case with all things parent-y, we must be aware that we will not always hear the following:

a) What we want to hear
b) What we thought we heard
c) The reason why anything that is shared by the adolescent happened and/or what the teenager will be doing about the aforementioned experience (s)

We are our own filter and a multitude of quick adjustments must be made during this communication fiesta, so the event doesn’t end just as quickly as it began. Thus, the first thing that happens, naturally, when we are privy to the reality of our children’s lives is that the face goes slack, thus creating a Botox effect. No wrinkles, no expression, no-how.

This hearkens back to our animalistic natures and our desire to belong in a pack or to a herd. When a shy, preferably non-hungry critter approaches and we wish to make its acquaintance we must make sure as not to alarm them, so no sudden moves, no aggressive facial expressions and no threatening gestures. This translates well in our approach to our youth and their “emotional sharings to go.”

In my own case, it is the one time in my life when I have no visible emotions playing across my freckled mien because I know the moment I register any kind of reaction, whatsoever, the moment will pass as quickly as my excitement over the water bra. Again, the benefit in this exchange, besides the one where we get a peek at the look-inside Easter egg that is our children’s lives, is that, for sustained periods of time, we are rendered ageless, timeless, but fortunately, we are not clueless…for now.

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