Navel gazing

I’m riffing off what a blahggy friend wrote in a recent entry about her almost 3-year-old grandchild having a meltdown that to many adults would be inscrutable. Why is he so upset? Well. Because. (I’m not gonna link because the child’s family does not want them to have an internet presence in any way shape or form and I totally respect that.)

My friend related his outburst to her own emotional states and that made me explore my own, now and throughout my life. This is something I do regularly anyway. Don’t we all?

I was a “spirited” child. Unfortunately I was also very SHY, which is what we called introverts back then. I grew into an angsty teenager. In fact I can remember being at the moomincabin at 12 and CRYING to The Commander that I reeeeaallly wanted to be a teenager. I mean, reeeaaaly?

Being a kid was relatively easy because I was good at a lot of things, academics, music, and sports (of the kickball in the street sort anyway). And I had some good friends. Being a teenager was soooo hard. I was still good at academics and music and although I abandoned most sports, I was a decent amateur downhill skier. And I still had friends but the coveted “in-crowd” was elusive to me. And I was terrified to do things like speak up in class (although I rocked any flute solo that came my way, go figger).

Anyway, I sort of gained a certain reputation and that reputation still dogs me a bit with people who knew me back then. It isn’t that simple. Inside my psyche, a spirited 3-year-old still lives. And a very angsty teenager. But layered on top of those is the baggy old bag I’ve become and all of the roles I’ve played throughout my life. Mother of two. Last living member of a nuclear family of four. A person of multiple careers. A “successful failure” (my dad’s phrase). I do occasionally get red-hot angry nowadays (who doesn’t?) but I am much more able to “go with the flow” at this stage of the game.

Disclaimer: When I talk about my struggles as a child and teenager, I was NEVER in any kind of desperation (like considering suicide). My parents were wonderful even if they didn’t always understand me but what parent ever does totally understand their children? I did have friends (and even boyfriends). I had all of the moominbeach folk and the moominbeach itself. I had the proverbial “village” and I had a bit of personal oomph too, shy as I was. Not everyone has all of that.

One Response to “Navel gazing”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Yes, we are all those people we’ve been. Even though I’m retired, I still do a lot of “teaching.” I can feel myself go into that mode! Today grandson wanted to know who his mother’s dad and grandparents were which led to an exploration of death. He refused to accept my daughter’s answer that “they’re not here any more” so my poor daughter had to try to explain death in a delicate way to a not even 3-year-old. He’s frighteningly smart.