I often think about how most people only look at their parents lives from the point they became parents to now. I admit it is hard for me to imagine my parents in their youth and when I look at photographs it does not look like them, while at the same time it does.
This leads me to wonder how my children will see me. (hehe I have children, still seems surreal) Will they ask me about my pre baby life? Or will they not want to know about my wild youth? My daughter already asks me everyday for tattoos that match mine. Which makes me think of when I got tattoos and people said, “what will you tell your children when they ask for tattoos?” Well this is what I told her, I said when you are 18 you can get a tattoo and then I took a marker and drew a matching tattoo on her foot. She then screamed and went wipe it off! Parenting success.
I have such amazing stories to tell that I hope my daughters want to hear them. I even have the lofty hope that they will learn something from them. But, the notion that I should hide things I have done or pretend to have always been the perfect adult specimen I am now would be foolish.
When I would ask my mother about her youth, she would get very upset and try and claim that she had never done anything foolish outside of the story she tells about wearing black leather pants. Which only made me feel less connected to her. If you cannot tell someone your stories, can you truly say you have any kind of relationship with them? Honestly, I don’t think so.
Who do you tell your stories to?
I learn more about life out and about with my daughter than I ever did in school.
This morning we went to the splash park. I know you all think Louisiana is a vast melting pot of cultures, when actually it is pretty much one culture. Shocked I know. But, the splash park, was a true meeting ground of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. I had no idea the cool place to be all this time was this park.
“It’s water mommy!” “Yes, dear it is water”
There was the naked kid. No matter how many times dad put his suit on he would not be broken, he was going to run around naked, Damn it! “They can put me in time out, but they can never take my Freedom!!”
There were many dads there. Most sitting on the benches without their shirts. Getting their tan on. The moms however, were all covered up. I am pretty sure the men were signaling to the mom crowd come and get it while it’s hot ladies, and it’s always hot.
I knew we were out in the country because none of the babies wore swim diapers. Because a pool is basically a toilet anyway right? Yet none of the babies had an accident. What do they feed those country babies?
One cannot discuss the country pool without discussing the big hair. It is an unspoken contest between women of the deep south. Whose is highest. The winner at the park was a young adult women with blonde hair the color of dry straw that was taller and longer than anyone’s hair for miles I am quite sure. She sat in silence just watching the children play, knowing she had won.
I have read many blogs about the various antics of the neighborhood playground. And I can see why the playground is a world of wonder. It holds fun and excitement for all ages. That is until you have to deal with the other parents.
There are the parents that sit down let their kids run away and never look up from their phone again. You now have to watch your kid and theirs to make sure they don’t run up and smack your kid or you for that matter.
There are the parents who will not let their child leave their side more than two feet. They follow them up every step, and down every slide. Heaven forbid their child learns to do something by themselves. If learn to be independent they might grow up and move out. A horrifying thought.
There are the cool dads. They get down and dirty running around with the kids. Playing pretend sword fights and dragon attacks. They are a rare sight at the park.
The rich stay at home mom. They refuse to look other parents in the eye. Tell their children loudly “no don’t play with that kid.” Whisper as you walk away. If you see one their are two choices. One, just walk away and go to the park tomorrow. Two, walk in with confidence and stare the bitch down. Bullies respond to strength.
And then theirs me. The mom that sits quietly and watches her daughter play.