Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hey Mom. I think you forgot something.

A friend of mine was saying something nice about Quattro, my 10 year old. That he was polite or funny or something awesome and I just smiled and said "ya, thank you". I couldn't help but think she was complimenting me, by complimenting him. And that's one that is not hard to accept. Until recently, I feel it has always been hard to accept when someone says something nice to me. I cringe, a little, blow it off, a lot. Lately I have noticed this about myself and I have made a decision that it must stop. Just like thinking I look "fat" in something. I'm human, I have bad days but I think with kids, maybe especially with a girl but not necessarily, talking down about myself is just something that can't be. Not even off the cuff, not even joking. Everything we do can be taken to heart for these kids, it could also be taken with a grain of salt but how would you know? Risky.
Growing up I don't remember getting compliments and I certainly don't remember being taught how to accept them. Maybe it was the "times" or whatever but I have a feeling there were probably people growing up in the 80's (yep, the 80's) that knew how it was supposed to go. 
Not us.
I feel like my sister would never compliment me because she pretty much hated me. We are really close now but that didn't happen until I was in my mid- late 20's. I always wanted to be like her, she was smart and beautiful and seemed like she knew she wanted to get the hell out of our town, so I was on board with all of that. My family always seemed so preoccupied with work or someone else's problems, I did feel as though I slipped through the cracks in a lot of ways but that might be a whole different blog entry. Mostly I wish I would have seen people accept when others said something nice about them. It seems as though it is more important than you might think.
So I guess that's just part of my job description, to take the things I wish were different with my childhood and make them so with mine.  Same goes for keeping the things that are great. I like that way of thinking. I think more people should take notice what they think they might have missed out on or remember the things that make them strong and tighten it up a bit for their offspring. 
Growing up, I did learn to go out of my way to do things for people. We were always doing something for someone when I was a kid. My Grandparents are the pioneers of delivering a hitchhiker to his new spot and finding cars for those who need one- or a refrigerator, whatever you need, they will make sure you have it. They are still that way. Still the nicest people I know.
When I first met my husband, we were walking in NYC and there was a homeless man sitting in a wheelchair and there was a hat just on the other side of the curb, in the ditch. People were rushing by him and we passed him. Then I stopped and turned around and waded through the crowd and picked up his hat and handed it to him. Eddie gave me a weird look and we kept walking.
It never bothered me that the man that I was going to marry didn't think twice about passing this guy, obviously needing help because I was programmed to help. Now 11+ years later I think it might be because whenever I tell him he looks great, or sounds great he just says "thank you".

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