Lately I’ve been obsessed with family tv shows. Inevitably, the mom has some nugget of wisdom that carries her children through their life. When times are bad they think of her words and are comforted.
I can remember two of my mom’s nuggets. The 1st was “when you meet someone new, remember they are as nervous as you are and make them feel comfortable”. The second was “don’t ever be financially dependent on a man”. The 1st I mastered. The second, not so much.
I just texted my oldest to find out what “nuggets” I’ve left him. Here was his answer: “Maybe it’s the way my brain works but I can’t remember what was just said in the movie I watched. I’m sure you said plenty useful, if I’m on a show I’ll make something up to make you sound good”.
Being a good mom has been my only claim to fame for the past 20 years, and, if tv shows are any indication, I haven’t been a very good one. If really pressed, I’m guessing my most memorable quote would be “life sucks then you die”. Proud moments for me.
It really sucks to find out my claim to fame, being a good mom, could be bullshit. It might have actually been my hands off approach that created nice kids. And, to be clear, my hands off approach was the result of my bad health, not a plan on my part. I would have raised them much differently if I had been physically able.
Someone recently asked me my definition of failure. My definition of failure is this:
Finding out that the plan, the inevitable truth, you thought was right plan was wrong.
That is failure. Accepting that you were flat out wrong.
You took all of the bits of information given you, scrambled them up and came up with the wrong equation. Failure is realizing that while you though 2 + 2 = 5 it does not; it equals 4, and you were wrong all along.
Maybe it’s time to stop watching family shows? Or is it time to admit I’m a failure?