Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Sometimes it is hard being a parent. I'm not talking about times your kid gets in trouble or rejects your sage advice or gets sick. I'm thinking of when you know they are soon going to experience a disappointment and you start thinking about how you are going to manage that upset and possibly use it as a life experience, and at the same time it brings up memories of a similar experience in your past. I don't want to reveal the actual event, and it isn't a life-altering thing thank goodness, but I know it will leave a sting, since it left a wound in my psyche to this day (to a small degree), and I can only hope it will be remedied for him in the next few years. He is pretty sensitive about slights, perceived and actual. But I also realize it for what it is: a small group of pampered boys, who are not particularly good individuals, rather than being welcoming, nurturing, and inclusive, chose an opportunity to deny someone not in their clique a chance to join a group they are already members of. I was never popular when growing up. Neither was I overwhelmingly disliked either: I don't really remember being picked on or abused, and on those occasions someone did, I usually just ignored it and walked away, and when the bullies aren't getting a rise out of someone, they usually move on to targets that will get rattled. It is especially hard when the offending group is small and there is no way but knowing you have been rejected by people close to you. If you get shut out of a large organization or group, say, you can placate your ego by believing it was a tiny, though influential, block that stood in your way. And sometimes it is not enough to tell your child that "I wouldn't want to be in any group that didn't want me anyhow." I also know, to a certain extent, that my child is partially responsible (personality flaws) and that some more maturity for him may swing things in his favor in the future, so I will have that card to play---to show him that sometimes we stub ourselves and that maybe disappointment and how one handles it will help us be better people. I hope I can soften the blow. However, I am not really that different a person than I was when 13-14 in some respects; perhaps a little wiser and calmer, and introspective, but in many ways I am basically the same, preferring to stand on the edges most of the time rather than join the dance. Happy that most people seem to like me, and able to accept that I will seldom be asked to the party. The kind of person people don't admit to others that you are a friend or colleague, but that when they need help, they often come to you. We all have roles to play, I guess.