This afternoon I experienced one of those ultimate mothering moments. It happened as I wandered through the kitchen and happened upon DD1 and DD2 just as DD1 said, “Well I could help you with that problem, but I need to look at your math book.”
And I know I shouldn’t have howled with laughter and pointed out the irony of those words. But that knowledge totally didn’t stop me from doing it. Oh no, I laughed. Then I said, “See, I told you so!” Because I’m really nice like that. I just couldn’t resist seeing how I’ve said that exact thing to DD1 over and over and over again, usually earning a sarcastic remark or an eye roll in response.
And, honestly, I understand that’s exactly how it should be. Teenagers don’t seem to be programmed to listen to the voice of experience–they’re too busy running headlong into creating their own experiences. Into learning things the hard way.
While I know that many people remember their high school days fondly, I have no desire to relive those years. The social anxiety, the wonder about not only what but also who I’d be when I grew up. If I could go back in time, I’d love to reassure the me of the 1980s that I’d be pretty darn happy about the me of the 21st century–though, of course, I’d find have found it awfully hard to imagine a me that was sooo old.
I’d tell myself that my own mother was right. College boys aren’t afraid of smart girls.
I’d tell myself not to worry about choosing a field that wasn’t monetarily lucrative. That following your heart career-wise tends to pay off in the end.
I’d tell myself that perfection isn’t necessarily a component of happiness.
What if you could go back? What if that voice of experience came from your own older self rather than from your parents? What would you tell yourself if you could? What would you not want to know?