Words of Wisdom
by Carrie Colbert; a special Mother’s Day inspired edition
Hi y’all. You usually have the honor of being graced with Julie’s wise words on Wednesday. But I wanted to share something that’s been on my mind and heart. I hope you’ll bear with me as I get more vulnerable on a personal level than I usually do here. Writing about fashion and travel is easy. But getting personal is a bit less comfortable. Nevertheless, here goes… some personal thoughts from me vis-à-vis this Dr. Laura quote as I prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day for the first time as a mother!
Preface and Background
I’ll start with a bit of a disclaimer. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Dr. Laura, but she can be a bit of a polarizing personality. Her beliefs are very traditional and conservative, and her method of delivery can come across as harsh and blunt. This however is not a referendum on her. It’s not an endorsement or me taking a position one way or another.
Today, I simply want to share how this one single quote really resonated within my soul.
Now, a point of clarification before we begin: my dad and stepmother are fabulous people! You may see them on my social media from time to time. GranDan and YaYa as they are now known. You’ll see me refer to them as “mom and dad”, as my stepmother has been in my life for most of my life and is a kind, strong, loving person.
However, I did not grow up with a good mother-child relationship. I am not comfortable divulging any further details, but suffice it to say that I did not have a happy home with my biological mother and her husband.
That circumstance certainly had a profound impact on me, particularly in my adolescent and early adult years. In fact, deep down, it probably played some role in my steering clear of becoming a mother until later in life. I didn’t want to repeat any mistakes.
However, I now find myself with an almost one year old (my, how time flies!) and can assuredly say that she is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me! She is my joy, she is my purpose, she is my reason why. So, when I heard this quote, it resounded deep within me.
Indeed, there are two chances to have a parent-child relationship. The first opportunity (as a child) is not in your control. As Dr. Laura has somewhat jokingly said, “You can’t help it if, as a kid, you got in the wrong line for parents.” True story – you can’t pick your parents! Ha.
But, if your first chance (as a child) sucked, that’s okay. Well, it’s not okay. At all. But it’s okay in that you get another chance! You get a chance to have a good, healthy, happy, joy-filled parent-child relationship on the other side of the coin – as a parent! And boy does it feel good.
This is not about living vicariously through your child. And it’s not about “righting wrongs” necessarily. It’s about living in the present and really feeling those pure, unadulterated wonderful emotions that are part of a parent-child relationship! The emotions are just as profound on both sounds of the equation. I’ve been somewhat surprised by that, but it’s true!
So, even if you didn’t experience the parent-child emotions of love, comfort, safety, joy, you can feel it now – just on the other side! The feelings go both ways!
How then shall we live? Sing with your kid. Smile at her jokes. Share belly laughs with your baby. Go run with abandon in the park. Marvel as you fly a kite together. Let your heart practically burst with wonder and gratitude. Live in the present. Embrace the now.
I know, I know… That sounds like a bunch of cliches and platitudes. But I mean it in a very practical way. I know that I personally have laughed more in the last ten months than I probably have in my whole life prior to Elle! We have such fun together! She gets tickled, then I get tickled as I see her excitement and hear her laughter, and then I experience the same, and it’s all one big wonderful loop.
The emotions I share with her are so pure. They are uncorrupted by any selfish desires or ulterior motives or anything like that. It’s just plain joyful. And, as someone who really didn’t expect to become a parent, I do believe I am cherishing this season even more. It’s a rebirth of sorts to experience life through my child.
So, in terms of a takeaway… I am certainly in no position to give parenting advice in any expert capacity. But through my experience thus far, I already feel such satisfaction in the parent-child relationship I have with her. And I wish the same for all of you.