I am in the middle of re-reading one of my favorite books. You know the ones that you read and they just make you happy being completely pulled in to another world? I read this book a few years back and loved it and decided to re-read it in my quest to bring in some revived joy.
As I’m reading it, I laugh at the same parts I once found funny, I smile at the style of writing that I enjoy so much and I am amazed at the similarities of the stories and desires that are so much like my own. And I realize, I am reading this book as the Old Me with the New Me’s eyes and perspective. Eyes that see different, clearly, focused, and knowingly. A perspective that has new insight, experience and wonder. My life has changed significantly since I read those words the first time around and my view of living with it. Same book, same affinity, different perspective. Fascinating.
It is also the beginning of the month of my children’s birthdays, which is always a time of reflection of where we’ve been and who I am and who they are since their conception.
I love reminiscing with them about what life was like when they were babies. How we had no idea what we were doing, how I never changed a diaper before my first child, how I had to read how to give a bath, and how I screwed it up with distinction. I love talking about being pregnant with them and making their baby food and how I was so much more of a nut than I am now…they, of course, find this hard to believe. I tell them how I read one book after another trying to understand what I was doing and then found that the books didn’t birth my babies and they didn’t always follow “the plan.” For a controlling mother who felt lost, this was frustrating.
I remember, vividly, sitting on my couch, reading multiple books, searching for answers, searching for understanding, wanting someone to tell me I would figure it out. And then it happened, on a day with 2 hours of sleep, debating if I had what it took to make this whole parenting thing work, my cousin gave me the best advice…..”Just when you think you’ve hit your limit, that it can’t get any worse, you won’t make it another minute, everything will start to get better.” She couldn’t have been more right. With time, I figured out what parenting meant to me, I was calmer than I ever expected and I loved them more than I could have imagined possible…right up until this very day.
What would I do if I re-read those books now, experience under my belt, survival techniques listed on my resume, faith restored that I am a functioning parent with two functioning children who actually are pretty fine human beings I’m proud to know? Would I laugh at the same parts I found funny, smile at the parts where I thought they might be right, and be amazed at the similarities that all parents have when we are just trying to figure it all out? Would I read it as the Old Me with the New Me’s eyes and perspective? Of course.
Experience is our education. Memories and Intuition are our text books . And Love is the guarantee that we are doing it all “Right.”