I have learned to choose my battles more wisely. It’s taken me long enough, but it’s good that I’ve finally given in to its wisdom.
In doing so, I have taken the burden of many things off my shoulders and placed them on their rightful owner, typically my children. Yep, parenting has taught me to allow my children to fail now so that hopefully, they will not do it later on as adults. Well, at least not as much.
But damn, is it hard.
I caught myself getting tangled in the morning’s rigmarole when my eldest daughter refused to get out of bed for the 4015th day in a row. I heard her alarm (that I set the night before) beep at 7AM, 7:15AM and then I popped my head in her room at 7:30AM as a gentle nudge. After another 15 minutes and no sign of my recluse child, I hollered up to her again. It ended in another failed attempt to coax my sloth of a child out of her warm and cozy bed.
Then I interrupted my typical pattern of going down the rabbit hole of morning madness. I noticed I was getting worked up because my sleepy child wasn’t going to be ready. I already knew she wouldn’t be prepared to leave on time, so why was I letting myself get into a tizzy? Instead, I let it go. I’m so tired of hearing the sound of my own voice that I just couldn’t bring myself to yell. (I know my family is too.) Eventually, she did get her act together. We left the house five minutes late and then returned home because she forgot her phone after I asked if everyone had everything they needed. In unison, both girls responded with an annoyed, “Yes, mom.” As much as I love my child, I swear the kid would forget her ass if it wasn’t attached to her body.
If there is one thing I do love about Switzerland, it’s their punctuality. This was a trait ingrained in me as a child. My family was always early. My 92-year-old father still sets his watch ten minutes fast. I never understood this as a kid because I always knew the clock was fast, but now as an adult who is constantly rushing, I would have no time to think about my little mind game and would just be showing up early to everything.
Believe me, I have tried to instill respect for timeliness into my daughter – not only to help her punctuality but also to respect others’ time. Whenever I ask what she’d do if she was late for the train, she responds with, “I don’t know. Wait for the next one?” She is not rushed and does not seem to be bothered. I hope her future husband enjoys being fashionably late or that she moves back to Mexico City, where ahorita is a state of mind. Ahorita translates to “in a moment,” but could mean in a minute, in an hour, next week or never. I personally struggled with this concept, as the Mexican culture has made being late an art form.
So, yes, I was frustrated. And, no, she didn’t learn her lesson (we’ve been doing this dance for 13 years) because mom ultimately always saves the day. But at least I protected my sanity by not offering a frenzy filled oration that would be ignored. Maybe the look of disappointment said it all for me, but I doubt she even noticed with her nose in her phone.