“You have to stop looking at everything through the lens of your childhood.”
Kenny Bodanis, oversize baggage is now being offloaded on carousel 7. Please report to the loading/unloading area and claim your slough. Then sift through it, and avoid bringing it home.
I’ll soon be 47-years-old. I know have many good years ahead, although I doubt there will be many formative ones. I am fully formed. Any course corrections may not be impossible, but the rudder has rust, and the tanker has fewer kilometres ahead than it used to before reaching its final, fateful destination. And, of course, there is no backing her up.
We are all the result of our genetics and our upbringing. Nature and nurture. The percentages of the recipe may be debatable, but the cake’s out of the oven: we are our parents’ products, for better and for worse.
We openly cite our childhoods as examples of wishes and fears for our children:
“I don’t want my children to grow up with the same…”
“I only hope my kids can experience what I…”
“When I was young I was left to my own devices and I turned out...”
“As a kid, no one took any interest in my passions; I don’t want that for…”
Environments change drastically over a generation. Most parents are blessed with wanting what’s best for their child, and cursed with believing they know exactly how to make that happen.
We are also in the unique (and often overwhelming) position of being the sole authority, expert, and origin of our young children’s experiences and truths - as our parents were with us.
The parenting tools we use to tweak our kids were accumulated in a box over decades. They are what worked for our parents, but they may not be ideal for our children.
Coming of age in a household fraught with strife and dissent may result in a parent with an exaggerated aversion to conflict.
An opulent and insulated childhood may produce a parent who crumbles at adversity and is incapable of self-reliance.
Patterns of abuse can be repeated from one generation to the next, as a child learns that physical confrontation is the sole solution for dispute.
So much sifting, and straining, and skimming. Our childhood experiences are like trees overhanging a pool in the fall, it’s nearly impossible for everything to always be clear. Some leaves are so deep, they just have to be left as part of the basin. The pressure of retrieving them is too uncomfortable to be worthwhile.
As for the rest, often the work is difficult, but worthwhile.
Unlocking the oversized trunk and sorting its contents is daunting:
Don’t need that; I held onto that?!
That’s been there the whole time?!
Oh, that’s why this is so heavy.
I’m learning the trunk is huge, but it’s never too late. That carousel keep turning, offering me my baggage with each pass; a Lazy Susan of my youth.
One item at a time. One today, two tomorrow, another next Tuesday. Eventually, I hope to have only the essentials - a little psychological gym bag.
Gotta get started, though. My children are products of their parents, for better and for worse.