As practiced as I am, I can spend hours and hours on a piece and still make a mistake. When I was younger, I would agonize over it for days and often begin again. What I have realized is that usually I am the only one to know that there was ever a mistake and that I learn as much or more from an error as I do from beginning again.

Parenting isn’t easy. You are your kids’ biggest cheerleader, but at some point there is a shift in your reality as it becomes your child’s reality. And, when your child is more than twenty you probably have little to say about it. You accept their decisions, good or bad (in your perception), but remain the cheerleader on the sidelines. Don’t worry. They’ll sit up and notice eventually. I hope.

Last night our daughter stopped by for a visit and cards after work. She and her new husband had gone to the pumpkin patch that we frequented when our kids were small and she realized that although we weren’t wealthy, we assured them a good time on a budget. They always came away with the pumpkin of their choice and a gallon of cider.

The choices that our children have made haven’t always jibed with our plans for them. Throwing away a full scholarship to a great engineering university was not optimum, but he’s in theater now. Organizing a Contentious Objector workshop with the American Friends Services Committee did not deter our eldest from enlisting and our daughter…

I can’t worry too much. I have my own dreams to follow (guess I won’t be dead any time soon), still. I’ve put them on hold for a long, long time. I can only hope that my chickens (the extended ones, as well) keep learning from their mistakes. Keep your nose to the grindstone and learn something new every day. A wise woman once said, “There are no mistakes in metal; only opportunities.” Nobody remembers your mistakes; only your triumphs.

I can’t fathom any other attitude.

4 thoughts on “Perfection

  1. MorningStar says:

    About 8 years ago I wanted a huge change, to move half-way across the continent. I was afraid about leaving my son (25) and our niece who lived with us (22). Both of them, while adult, had been higher-need children, and I was agonizing over whether they were ready for me to leave. I was told it’s good to show your children it’s never too late to change direction and live your dream.

    • I hear you MS. I think that your son and my son are very similar. And, I know that they’re both okay because we DO set an example and because, ultimately, we expect them to be independent.

  2. Fran Cohen says:

    Thought provoking philosophical musings, Martha. I never knew that Cy was offered a full scholarship to an engineering univ. (Which one?) Its wonderful when parents can arrive at the position of accepting their adult children’s decisions, whether or not they approve. Parental support is so important to children’s self esteem.

    My Aunt Elsie used to say, “Learn something new every day,” regardless of what it may be. ☺️

    • It was Charlie, Fran. And, it was Alfred University; an appropriately quirky school. Like his big brother, he found that life in the sticks wasn’t conducive to study. I liked it more than Charlie. It was my desire, not his. So, we live and we learn.

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