Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day - Nobody Really Knows What They Are Doing

I have often threatened to write a book on parenting with the title:

Nobody Really Knows What They Are Doing

The older I get, the more evident this is. In the last ten years, my daughters have done relatively well - graduated from NYU, masters from USC, scholarship to prep school, Olympic medal, world champion, journalist of the year, etc.

All of a sudden people are telling me what a great mother I was to them and asking my parenting advice.

Prior to all of that success, I was just the worst mother in the entire world out to ruin their lives. They were dropping out of high school, running away from home, passed out drunk at parties where I had tracked them down and carried them out of the house on my shoulders. (Not all of them and not all at once, and they will each claim that it was their sisters and they were perfect.)

There are a few things that I have, hopefully, instilled in my children. Since I was fortunate to spend the day with my two youngest, who (correctly) concluded that the present mom would most like was their presence, I spent most of it trying to impart to the littlest sister, also known as The Spoiled One, what lessons in life I most hoped she would learn.

Although you can't tell it by this picture, it was met with much eye rolling, sighing and pretending to fall asleep. However, I gave it my best shot, which is all I can do.

Here are a few lessons I hope they will learn.

  1. Sacrifice what you want now for what you want most. If you really want to pass the AP History Exam you will study for it every night instead of watching vampire shows on NetFlix.
  2. Figure out what it is you really want out of life. Even if you don't know at 16 or 18 years old - and most people don't - you should be making an effort to figure it out.
  3. Being outstanding takes far more work than you think. To be the best in something doesn't take 10% more work than being good, it usually takes twice as much work.
  4. Strive to be the best at something. Regardless of the economy, there is never a surplus of excellence and you will always have work.
  5. Success takes far longer than you think. The biggest factor in being successful at something is to just keep working at it. (Ronda added that although it seems like it's taking a really long time in the middle of it, when you look back, it really doesn't seem that long after all. Time is funny that way.)
  6. Value your family over friends because friends will come and go in your life but your family will be there always.
  7. Words mean things. (I stole this line from my friend, Al Bane.) If you say you are going to meet someone at the Eiffel Tower at 2 p.m. on May 3rd, 2017, when that time comes, you should be there.
  8. Give back. You have a very privileged life in a beautiful state in a prosperous, safe country in a fairly well-off family. You didn't hit a double. You started life on second base. Appreciate that by helping whenever you can.
  9. Effort sweats. That is a whole long topic in itself. It's important enough that my whole post tomorrow is about that.
------- Hey, it's Mother's Day, do something nice ....
Buy Winning on the Ground, by me and Jim Pedro, Sr.  or

Buy Spirit Lake: The Game  -- for yourself or someone in your life who could be better at math. If you want to give it to a low-income school, we can even handle that for you. You can donate it in your mom's name - mothers like that sort of thing.


Unknown said...

Always a pleasure...yours are the only opinions i read and 'take to heart'...unlike the others that i can't respond to because i don't have any social media accounts and end up 'rolling my eyes' to anyway.
You can tell that you and I are of the same generation, btw.
As much as I value solitude, family is everything.
Am looking forward to the next installment, Mrs. D!

I remain,

Mike R. (until I exit this place)
...until which time I will ask the spirit in the sky..."What was all that really about back there??"

Samantha said...

Even if "nobody really knows what they are doing," I think it's worth pointing out that some people don't even make it to that level -- they "really don't know what they're doing!"

Samantha said...

Although some mothers "don't really know what they're doing", some mothers have it even worse - they REALLY don't know what they're doing!

Anonymous said...

Really likes your choice to show candor and to be all the way honest with your thoughts, and paint a picture of verbal reality instead of giving us a media fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting honesty in your post! My nurse at my doctor's office just saida, "Nobody Really Knows What They Are Doing" as she was referring to parenthood. Thought it was ironic in a positive way that you posted this. Thank you for a great read.