lundi, août 22, 2011

No more Kool-Aid

"I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid," I cheerfully told my daughter last week -- and then realized she had no idea what I was talking about.

That's just one of the small humiliations of being a parent -- knowing that your child's frame of reference doesn't include one of the formative events of the 19th -- oops, I mean 20th century.

And yes, I was being a bit hyperbolic.

But since my readers aren't teens (though we all often act like them), I will assume you know what I mean.

The DQ has a point-of-view which has worked well for her -- she's got a way of wrapping her dad and me, to some extent, around her pretty fingers.

As I said a few posts before this, when it comes to her strategies vis a vis her dad and me, I'm not buying her version of reality any longer.

This has been, and continues to be, a summer of Texas-sized (God help us) change in our family.

And I'm trying to make the changes that I can affect for the better.

In terms of my personal life, from friends to lovers, I've often been, to steal a great word from a scientist I heard on NPR, a "possibilitarian." Intrigued by people in their diversity and in their weakness, I am vulnerable to the unusual, the strange, the different.

I wish, sometimes, that I could be meaner. My deficit in this regard can be laid at the door of my obsessive need to analyze and understand.

Is to understand all, or a lot more, to forgive more? That's a difficult question, particularly when it comes to a family member or a potential friend or boyfriend.

I'll try to be more discerning - that bar of possibility is going to be much higher. In her case, I know I need to be less self-critical, more willing to stand up for what is both in her best interest and in mine.

Imagine me as a tough broad. Go ahead. Odder things have happened.

In my own clumsy, halting way, I'm trying to implement what I've observed, to learn from the bumps and bruises.

One can't rewrite the past -- though we all try.

But learning from our mistakes can shape the future.

Is it true that those who don't understand their past are doomed to repeat it? Heck, you might end up repeating your mistake whether you understand it or you don't.

But I'd like to believe that now that I've put down the Kool-Aid I drank in various personal relationships, even with those I love, I'll find a healthier drink -- one that nourishes instead of saps.

Or drinks.

For if one is good, well, two has to be better.

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