Thursday, October 29, 2015

Experiences you haven't had yet

We all start out young and dumb. There's really no help for that except time and experience, and maybe opened to the idea that we're young and dumb and don't get it yet.  In many respect, at 36, I'm still young and dumb.  I know this, and I try to keep it in mind.

This morning, on internet message board for pregnant women expecting in November, I ran across a post from a 19 year old second time mother. She was ranting about how people judge her and assume things about her.  On one hand, I felt sympathy for her. I was 23 when my first child was born, and people make a lot of assumptions about my parenting skills and ability to take care of my children.  I also had to laugh at her lack of understanding.  She assumes that older people don't know what we know: life has a funny way of changing you and turning out differently from how you assume they will.

Very gently, I commented that age does matter, and that she won't understand that until she sees another decade or so (and that I didn't understand when someone told me).  We change so much as people between 18 and 30, if we are emotionally and mentally healthy.  Those changes in us, influence our abilities and responses as parents.  We are continuously bringing the entirety of our experience into the present moment. Those experiences shape our understanding, our decision making, our circumstances, and our emotional responses. That's just how life works.

I feel rather old today, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Youth isn't all it seems, and I am at a place in my life where I am not young or old, by general measure, and I get to see life from a perspective of between-ness.  I'm certain the lessons learned here, are the one I will need later in life to navigate those experiences I haven't had yet.

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