1. Last night, my husband had to work late. He is a teacher (6th grade math), and his school was holding parent-teacher conferences. I was not exactly feeling up to the challenge, mentally or physically, of our normal kind of dinners. I babysat for someone earlier in the day and let me tell you, three kids ages three and under know how to bring the party. Anyways. So for dinner, we all got into our jammies, I put on a movie (The Little Prince on Netflix), and made a batch of stop top popcorn for us all to share.
If you’ve never made your stovetop popcorn with coconut oil then all I can say to you is quick!!!! Do it now! It will change your life. Here is a little recipe to get you started:
4 TB coconut oil + 2/3 C popcorn kernals + 3 TB butter = your life never being the same
2. I saw these fun trips mapped out that take you to see some of America’s craziest road side attractions. I’ve never been out west, but some of those trips look like a lot of fun. Also, how did I not know that the world’s biggest cuckcoo clock sits less than an hour away from me? (Probably because I don’t care, but still.)
3. I read that there could be a new breastfeeding emoji added soon, as it was one of the top 30 requested in the past year. How cool is that? Also included in the list of most requested was a yoga emoji, a sandwich, and broccoli. Seriously? Broccoli? What about an avocado? Serious oversight, if you ask me. 🙂 Oliver recieved an emoji matching game for his birthday at it is one of the simply joys of my day to hear Theo and Oliver say the word “emoji.” So. Funny.
5. I got a haircut yesterday. I have curly hair, and my stylist did this new technique where she cut my hair dry and each individual curl so as to work with the curl, not against it. I’m pretty excited to wash my hair today and see how the final product looks. My stylist had to keep pulling out individual sections of my hair to cut it this way, so (since I didn’t have her style it) I left with it looking more like a 7th grade version of me than a hip new version of me. But I think the final result will be great.
While we are on the subject, I kinda liked seeing my crazy big hair back. I wish I could go back and tell 7th grade me that it’s ok. That one day my hair would settle down and that I’d make my peace with it and that it all works out. But more than that, I wish I could tell 7th grade me that it’s ok to rock that which makes you different. (For me, that list was kind of long: big frizzy curly hair, braces, glasses, and well, the list just goes on and get’s more difficult from there.) I wish I could tell her that one day people grow up and it’s the different ones that do great things. I wish I could tell her that the people who are mean to you because of how you look are so incredibly small and damaged on the inside, and that they are the ones who need our sympathy, not the other way around. I wish I could tell her not to worry about what the stupid boys say or think, because boys are just so stupid.
I can’t go back and tell 7th grade me any of that stuff. But I do have a sweet little girl who will grow up and hit her awkward years and be desperate for friends and for the attention of a boy and will cry because her hair is frizzy and her jeans (genes) not cool enough. What will I tell her then?
I don’t know that I’ll tell her that I’ve been there, because honestly, I don’t think our kids care. I’m sure I’ll tell her she is beautiful because she is, but that doesn’t do much to soothe wounded hearts in the moment, especially when it comes from our parents. (yuck! parents!) I think I’ll try and reminder her of who she is. I want to hear her out. I want to hear her pain and validate her experience and emotions. But even more than that, I want to hold up a mirror that shows her the girl I know on the inside. The intrinsic value. I want to show her how fickled public opinion can be, and direct her heart and attention to the one whose opinion never changes. I also want to pull back the curtain that reveals that everyone else is hurting too. People say mean things because they’ve been hurt. Because they are scared. Because they just want to feel beautiful.
Yes. I will listen and validate, but I’ll also nudge and encourage and attempt to inspire a deeper conversation.
I know this probably sounds naive. But I don’t believe teenagers “have” to be a certain way. Sure. I know she’ll probably just cry and yell a distressed “Moooooom!” to all of this, but I also know she won’t be able to help but listen, even if to just a little bit of what I say. Even if she says otherwise. I also know that what we say and do now will set the foundation for what she says and does then. I’ll try not to expect her to turn to me with a lightbulb over her head and gush, “You are SO RIGHT!” I’ll try and remind myself that this is a long game. I can’t expect instant results.
I know what you’re thinking: all of this came from a hair appointment? Yes. Yes it did. My brain hurts.
Happy Friday, to all you former awkward junior highers out there!