Thursday, January 13, 2011
It's not my fault; I just have a lot to say!
I suspect it all has something to do with the fact that as tweens and a teen, our kids are trying to do so much on their own as they forge an independent path and I know that my window of time to teach values, responsibility and life lessons is closing. I think my long-winded answers and comments are my way of extending that window. I want more time to teach them all the things I think they need to know. In addition to that, I want to extend the window during which they value what I have to say. My conscious, rational self knows that there is a reason why marketing professionals look for the elevator pitch or the pithy tag line that packs a punch. People remember the concise statements that consist of carefully chosen words. We have a lot to say to our kids, we just don't have to say it all at once. I know this. I just don't always remember to put on the brakes.
I love the way mothers talk to their children in picture books. Those moms get to be sweet, supportive and mushy and they get no eye rolling in return. When I was about to launch into a supportive talk the other night, one of my daughters asked me to stop before I started. I always get a kick out of the Robert Munsch classic Love You Forever. You know the one; throughout the ages and stages of the child, the mother sings“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” When her grown child lives on his own, we see the mom drive through the night, put a ladder up against the side of his house, crawl in to his bedroom through the window, scoop him out of bed and rock him as she sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” Seriously - no eye roll, no head roll, nothing. You gotta love the magical powers of storytelling!