When we were kids our parents did what was best to protect us and gave us advice we didn’t want to take.
‘Don’t eat the dirt. Take off your hat when you enter a building. Did you wash behind your ears? It’s better to walk away.’
It’s funny that as you grow up and you learn all of these things that you start saying those things to your own children.
I have my dad’s look down to a science and I even grind my teeth while giving my look of death. Unfortunately, it works on my high school students and not my own kids. My own kids laugh… until I chase them but even then, I can’t catch them because this body doesn’t run.
But it’s funny how when you are younger you are never going to be like your parents and then one day you are saying all the same phrases, giving the same looks and most importantly, giving the same advice.
So I find myself giving my kids the same advice. ‘They aren’t being a good friend right now. If they aren’t being nice, then walk away.’ However, if the same kid is picking on my babies then I may tell my kids to sucker punch the other child in the face.
So as adults, why don’t we take the same advice? When life gets hard and people treat you so badly why do we hold on so much tighter? Why do we fight so much harder?
I’m going through this right now with a friend and the worst part is that I never was able to explain myself. I was accused of actions that are not in my character; which for someone like me who obsesses, is devastating. I’m not saying that I don’t have fault in the demise of our friendship- I certainly do but I never was given the fair chance to fight.
Today, I was sitting in the car telling Emily that if Alex, at school, isn’t being nice to her then she needs to walk away and play with someone else. Meanwhile, the boys are telling her to punch him in the face. Maybe I should stop giving that advice because my boys are now passing it around.
Either way, why can’t I walk away? Why don’t I have more respect for me? I have a ton of abandonment issues- hence the reason for extra therapy. The insurance people must love me…
But seriously why not just take my mom’s advice and walk away? What a simple concept right?
I will tell you what walking away means to me. It means letting go of a friendship you thought that you had. It means holding on to memories that you wish you could make more of; it’s admitting to yourself that nothing is left to hold on to.
It’s sad really because you assume people want to be with you forever but sometimes we are left alone, to take that walk and that journey by ourselves. So when do we become strong enough? When do I become strong enough? And more importantly, how do I teach my kids to have the strength that I don’t seem to have?
Our friendship was a lot of fun and sometimes crazy. My memories right now are vivid, bright and full of laughter but, over time, they too will fade to black and white. And that’s OK because sometimes we have to take our mother’s advice and walk away when people don’t want to play with you anymore.
And to my friend, thanks for the memories and I’m thankful we didn’t sucker punch each other in the face because our faces are so pretty.
The little girl swinging alone… but there’s an extra swing open now so I am taking applications.