I’m not subborn. I just get my way.
It’s Tuesday and our kids are still here! Yes, we are surprised especially after the three days of whining from our three year old for what appears to be no specific reason. After several attempts to discuss the perils of whining and how we would appreciate some peace and quiet, we resorted to the old Catholic standby of an exorcism. Screaming ‘The spirit of Christ compels you!’ for 15 minutes works wonders. But the real question is, will Ricky value communication sans whining like we do.
Lee says: I was raised by immigrants who were forced to flee their country, which had been taken over by communists. I was raised by individuals who would rather fight for their political views, what they believed to be right, and suffer the inevitable consequences of prison and possible execution. My parents were badasses. Not were. Are. Their core value of freedom at all costs was not something they took lightly when they came to this country. Even today, after living here 48 years, they still defend this country even when there is evidence of less than integretous behavior.
For my family, our parents choices to rebel against Castro and his revolution set our core values. As a family, our core values are freedom, power, education, truth, self-reliance and independence. The simple act of saying ‘Yankee Si, Castro No’ set the ball in motion for the next 60 years of their lives and thus, in turn, affected their offspring.
Today, Paul and I have little to rebel against. But I often wonder what is the defining event that will make our core values obvious to our children. They already show such incredible stubbornness that people have had to go out of their way to tell us. As a parent, you haven’t lived until someone watches your child show the tenacity of a termite chewing on oak. All you can do is smile and say ’That’s my kid!’ We once thought that Jeannie was stubborn because of her multiple disabilities and her desire to be seen as an equal. Then the boys showed up and put her to shame.
Our reality is that both Paul and I are quite stubborn. No, let’s say tenacious. One of our core values is all-out tenacity especially when it comes to ambition and success. We value hard work and the sparks of this are so obvious in our offspring.
But what do you do when your kids are different? What if your kids don’t value what you do? What if they do not share your deal breakers? Like when you value things like security and marriage while your child values adventure and education. You can see the arguments already. ‘When are you going to settle down?’
Ultimately, we accept our kids for who they are. Somehow, we gave them those values whether through inadvertent education or maybe they are living a life we imagined for ourselves. I say, revel in their difference and open yourself to the possibility that your child’s values can be assimilated into your core values. There is nothing that says that we can’t be adventurous in our old age. I know I will be but I’m going to need a lot more Sherpas.
Paul says: It’s probably important to really pound in the idea of knowing your core values and understanding how they affect you. Since family is one of my core values, I can’t really imagine turning my back on one of my kids. Even if my daughter worked the pole, I might be taken aback initially but I know me. When all is said and done, I would be at the bar telling people to put a 20 in her thong because she is the best…obviously. That does not mean to say that, in this alternate possible future, stripper would make me as happy as groundbreaking researcher.
Admittedly, if one of my kids were a Nazi, racist homophobe, I would have a problem. I still would not turn my back of the kid but I would up my visablity on civil rights issues to make up for the dipshittedness.
So there you have me in a nutshell: exotic dancing – OK, Skinhead – not so much, whiny demon child – hit him with the Holy Water.