Sunday, December 30, 2007

I didn't think I needed to talk about it...

Hands up, now. Who teared up from a phone commercial lately? Or Hallmark? No? I mean, all the phone commercials these days, well, just aren't Kleenex-worthy.

Well, folks, I have just seen the first commercial of the new year (yes, I know it's still 2007), one that might have Daddy's little girl tearing up from coast to coast.

A girl and her dad are walking to the car. "Drop me off about a block away from the theatre" (and you're thinking, embarrassed it's your dad dropping you off?) and then she says, "People on that side of town ride bikes and drive hybrids" (As they get into an SUV). He says, "This is a hybrid."
She: "A hybrid hybrid?"
He: "Well, I don't know what you mean, by a hybrid hybrid, but this is a hybrid."

Here's the tearjerker, the "I want my mommy/daddy" moment: "Why didn't you talk about it?"

He: "I didn't know I had to."

Let that sink in. Really sink in.
You've been on one side of that conversation in your life--why didn't you tell me? I thought it was obvious! I didn't know I should tell you.

And this is where the rubber meets the road. I am 36. I am pretty much a well adjusted person and I don't blame my parents, per se. But if they wanted to instill me with their values, I think they thought I'd get it by osmosis or gene transfer.

The only thing my parents ever talked to me about was marrying someone Christian.

When I got my first credit card in college, they didn't tell me, make sure you don't spend more than you can pay in one month. Okay, maybe they told me once. But clearly it didn't sink in.

When I got kissed in high school, I had no "talks" in my brain about what is/what isn't appropriate.

Hello, out there. I don't have children. But if you do, use those moments, teachable moments.

Yes, we, this is a hybrid, that's important to us.

Yes, saving is something you should do, even with your babysitting money (I'm 36 and this is the first time in my working life that I have a savings/emergency account.)

When my parents didn't talk to me about dating, I thought (yes, I did) that they figured I wasn't going to get any dates, so they didn't need to give me any information.

A lot of my values are from Seventeen magazine, Writer's Digest magazine, because that's where I got information as a teen.

The talks I had with my parents (who bless them, were raising toddlers and a thirteen year old) were the "we're disappointed in you." If I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't get a talk. Grounded? (Nope, not even after I did stupid stuff that they found out about.) Um, I did plenty that was stupid and therefore worthy of grounding. I was never grounded as a teen, therefore, I have been grounded by me myself and I in my twenties and thirties.

I know this is rough, I know I could write this better, but I probably won't, because it would get too close to the little girl in me that has to admit that I'm 36 and I'm my own parent now.

PLEASE talk to your kids.


SneakyPeek said...

My parents didn't "talk" to me either.

And so I do talk to my kids, at nauseum.

Also, the three words "I love you" are a constant. Unlike when I grew up.

Heidi Renee said...

I have felt like this too from the parenting that was provided for me, and I have made very different choices for my kids. Heck, I even make those choices for other people's kids too! :)

daysgoby said...

A very good reminder. So much of the stuff that I want them to remember I just try to do and not always remember tosay.

Amy A. said...

My daughter is sick to death of the "talks" but she gets 'em anyway. If she messes up, it's not because she won't have my voice in her head.

Sometimes it's a frustrating process, but thank you for this. Hopefully one day she'll write a blog post thanking us for the talks.

SneakyPeek said...

Happy New Year, SL!!!

I hope you are doing something fun tonight!!!!