much-needed realistic components
It was talking about a scene where a sister in law, Julia, who has recently adopted a nine year old boy and is a “new” stay at home mom to her now two kids is feeling overwhelmed. Julia thinks to go to her sister in law’s house, Kristina, who has always seemed like the most controlled, perfect, organized, maybe a bit too on edge, but great mom. Kristina has also been diagnosed with breast cancer so when Julia shows up to the house she is not her normal wound up tight self. She is tired, worn out, on medicine, and just answers her mothering questions truthfully! Not that she would normally lie. But she might word things in a way that made her look good, brag a bit here or there, worry too much about what her sister in law thought of her, etc.
This is the conversation they have:
Julia: “Here is my problem. Victor is really behind in school….I’m tutoring him, I’m helping him with his homework. Which basically that means I am just doing it for him. And so I feel like he is coming home to this witch and I don’t want to be this way. I want to be nice but I also really want him to catch up. So what do you do with Max?” Max is Kristina’s son with Aspergers.
Kristina: “To be honest with you, we bribe him. If I was on Oprah I would be like-oh it’s an incentive system-but it’s just bribery.”
Julia: “Wow…ok…so that works?”
Kristina: “It works, here you go” as she pulls out the enormous bins of candy from the bottom kitchen drawer. “Different shapes and sizes of candy. We have nuggets of fun, chocolaty crunchy chewy tangible little treats of joy. Delicious (now she starts dropping the candy into her mouth)…it works! Listen to me, when you are in the trenches as a parent do not feel guilty about this, ok? You gotta do what you gotta do. And you have to go with what works. You’re a good mom.”
I loved this scene, I watched it over a month ago and it has still been on my mind. Don’t you feel as if “realistic components” are much-needed in your relationships too? Well in my life I need them more.
I do understand focusing on the positive. I do understand being sensitive to relationships and not blasting problems to everyone or everywhere. I do understand being respectful. I do understand that blogs, or what you journal, or what you say to people can become your “history” that generations read, hear of, and rely on. I do understand that you don’t want to come across too whiney or ungrateful. I also understand that when in the middle of a hard time some of us don’t want to talk about it, it is too much to bear at the time.
But I know at least for me I need this “realistic components” a lot more in my life. Not because I can think to myself, “Oh see, I AM better than her.” or “Phew, GOOD, you are going through a hard time too, it’s not just me.” or to get praise and pats on the back saying don’t worry Miss Vanessa you are a perfect mom. I don’t want that. I just want to have relationships that have depth, that are real, and that I can learn from. I also want my “history” to show that I was real. That my daughters, great grand daughters can read words I have left for them that help. That help them because they are realistic, they saw me fall, rise, have faith, learn through trials.
And I get to decide where and when or if not at all to publish that online. And so do you. But relationships in general (not just these silly online social media things and blogs) need to be more realistic.
I have a long way to come with this. I am working on that in this year of 2013!