I heard a quote recently that said something to the effect of “our kids are better versions of ourselves.”
In each of my kids I see little pieces of myself but I also see bits of them I wish I could put in my pocket and not just because I think they are adorable. I see singing in front a crowd and wearing your favorite shoes even though they clash horrifically with your pants and dancing through the frozen food section. I see all kinds of comfortable-in-their-own-skin displays that I’m going to work so hard to help them hang on to. Mine left soon after a long run of dance recitals in 1980 something.
Last night I decided to clean up my Instagram feed instead of my living room. In an effort to categorize my memories a bit I’ve hash-tagged my pictures so I can easily find them. My favorite hashtag I’ve used is #parkerpretends. I used it once a year or two ago, having no idea I would use it again and again and again. As I scrolled through my #parkerpretends photos I got a little choked up because oh this boy has taught me things.
I’m not sure he’s a better version of me, I think he is wholly himself, unapologetically, perfectly being who he wants to be each and every day. Every day he wakes up, decides what he wants to do and how he’s going to make it happen. He hides in our school room before the other kids are up, usually sneaking in the good scissors and the last of my tape and creates what he needs for the day. I’ve taught subtraction to a monkey wearing a top hat and given Santa his spelling test and my favorite moments of the day are his frequent costume unveilings.
I’m going to work on adopting his technique. It might take way too much tape and time and coffee, but I’m going to make what I have work for me and see if I can’t confidently show it off once in a while. We all deserve to know what we want and have the tools to make it happen.
Sometimes we just forget how on our way to growing up.
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