You Stomp on Their Joy and Dreams.
Yesterday, from out of the blue, someone stabbed me with the statement that I consistently crush my sons’ inspirations. “You stomp on their joy and dreams,” she told me.
This came from someone I’ve known for 30 years – but who has never even met my children. She’s never seen me with them. She’s never even read my blog! (Which is good, for today anyway.) She also has no husband, or children, of her own, so she has no idea how painful mother-cutting comments can be.
As a matter of fact, I lost touch with her for more than a decade, during which time I got married, had my babies and became a wonderfully supportive, kind, caring, loving mom.
It’s who I am. It’s what I do. It’s everything to me.
Yet, thanks to my own insecurities, I spent the entire day doubting myself. Maybe, I thought, she knows something I don’t.
She said (and again I quote), “I think you are unhappy and unsatisfied with your life at a deep level and project your misery onto others.”
This is a sickness, I realize. How could I doubt my very core? This woman lives 400 miles away and has only seen me for two hours in 20 years. She may have known me when I was 20, but she has absolutely no idea who I am now if she can claim that I am a dream-crusher carelessly tossing misery onto my kids.
Am I unhappy? NO. Emphatically, NO – I am actually incredibly happy. I adore my life. I’m quite possibly the luckiest person in the world! And I think my kids see that I feel this way, day in and day out. We have a gorgeous life. We talk about God. We live with God. I don’t want to get all preachy, but it’s impossible to live with God in gratitude and be miserable at the same time.
Unsatisfied? Another emphatic NO. How could I be even remotely unsatisfied? I have an exciting, fulfilling life. I am a writer, a teacher, a softball player and a dog fanatic. I have a husband who treats me like a queen, who is funny and brilliant and knows how to fix broken things. I have two challenging and incredible boys who teach me something new every day. I treasure the moments we spend together, and I add as much joy to their lives as I can. I listen to them intently to find out what they love, then I nurture their passions to the extreme.
For example, Shane wants to be a magician. As a career. He spends his days flipping cards around in fancy ways and practicing sleight-of-hand tricks he’s learned from one of his gazillion magic books. He’s been doing this for two years. He is going to be a great magician. Why would I squash that? It’s not a lucrative career move, but if that’s what he wants to do, he should do it.
And Dylan wanted to go to MIT and be a world-class engineer. I know that MIT is notoriously the hardest college in the world to get into – but did I squash that dream? NO. I told him to work really hard and get good grades and he could go to MIT.
Then, a few weeks ago, when he decided to give up MIT and become a disc jockey instead – I supported that, too. He’s already got a gig lined up in April with a friend of mine, who happens to be a DJ.
So, do I project my misery onto others? NO.
Except today, because I am miserable, thinking that this woman I loved for so long has no idea who I am. So I am projecting my misery onto all the folks who are reading this and thinking, gee, where’s all the funny stuff about brilliant and bouncy kids?
Well, it will be back in a day or two, I’m sure. Just as soon as I remove the boulder from my gut and crawl out of the sudden and dramatic hole I’ve been pushed into.
Which will happen at my insistence as soon as the kids get home from school. They, thankfully, don’t even know this happened. I wouldn’t want to project any misery onto them, not even for a second.