Our Molly has been sick lately. (See half of her in the header photo. Isn’t she gorgeous? Also stealthy.)
Of course I assumed her diagnosis would be dire. She’s almost nine, which is killing me but not fast enough. I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. Except food. And vodka.
I’m fed up with my brain. It doesn’t want me to even know there’s a bright side, let alone look at it.
In fairness to me, though – and in the time-honored tradition of parent-blaming – my mother and father taught me to be this way.
My mother’s favorite phrase was “Don’t get your hopes up.” When I asked her why, she said, “I don’t want you to be disappointed.” This sounds protective and motherly, but what I learned was: Disappointment is horrible. Avoid it at all costs.
On the positive side, this lesson saved me a lot of tuition over the decades. As soon as a class got difficult (usually in the drop-now-and-you’ll-get-all-your-tuition-back period), I’d bail.
My father knew disappointment was inevitable, though, so he modeled coping skills for me. Like the time he jumped up from the kitchen table, holding an empty frozen dinner box in one hand and smacking it with the other. He screamed, “The Salisbury steak isn’t the same size as the picture on the box!”
I think it’s great when parents work together to raise a healthy child.