I’m full of deep thoughts, but I’m also full of shit. My eldest has recently become quite fond of ribbing her ol’ ma as I try to teach her life skills; how to correctly cut a bell pepper and how to find humor under the rock that just bruised your shin.
It’s a new dance. One not hinged entirely on surviving the day and we’re stepping on each other’s toes quite a bit. There is less exasperation and more a sense of dating. She’s figuring out who she is. I’m trying to show her who I am. I try to lead. She refuses to follow. I’m a sub-par place holder for the people she’d rather learn from; some buxom redhead on Disney Channel and a 4th grader with an i-Phone.
She’s funny and has an incredible dryness to her wit.
She can also be sharp of tongue. That part is all too familiar. I watch the snake-like sins of her mother take root in her very stylish cowboy boots.
We find each other in this new world, looking at each other as people. Today she asked to hold an insanely large knife and I had this dialogue with myself for 10 minutes, wondering when you give up the knife.
“Fuck it. Here you go. Don’t chop your hand off.”
But more than than the emergency room scenes mothers are constantly playing out in their worst case scenarios, I had that come to Jesus with myself – Right, I’m the one who teaches her how to use a knife. I didn’t sign up for this! But, I did. Like the PTA sub-committee where you thought you could make a real difference. I totally signed up for this.
She did not know how to use a knife. At all. Watching her was painful…the reminder that we really do not know how to do anything until we try and fail and try and fail and try and fail or, until someone teaches us.
Being a teacher is not something that comes naturally to me.
“Place it on its side. It will be easier to cut.”
There it was, the lightbulb moment.
I stood there wanting to take over. She stood there trying to find her own way. Like real life happening over a cucumber and my parenting crisis.
We’re just supposed to let go? Hand over the knife? Hope for the best?
Yeah. I guess so.
And once you hold the knife, you can’t go back to before you held it. There is only forward and more and bigger and faster.
Tomorrow we’re dicing onions and learning the importance of positioning yourself next to the appetizers at a party where you don’t know anyone. Dip is your friend.
I’m the teacher?
Yes. I’m the teacher.