Once long ago, I was at a meeting where everyone in the group was introducing themselves. One girl said, "Man, five years ago, I was really a mess. I was doing things that weren't good for my body or my mental health. But I really changed things around and now I am 360* from where I was."
"Well, that would put you right back where you started," was what I DIDN'T say out loud, but I really wanted to. I'm not as well behaved as you might expect, but in this one case, I managed to behave myself.
The funny thing about revolution is that people forget it is a circle. A revolution can lead you right back to where you started. For example, today our first order of business was cleaning our little home. The Girl was less than thrilled to jump up and spend her morning cleaning. As she sighed and crossed her arms, I thought, "Well, it is all full circle now." I used to be the sighing preteen, irritated that my parents plans for my day were interrupting my own.
Now, I'm the mom at the other end of the conversation irritated that my child isn't willing to put up with Saturday morning chores. The Boy heard me say the words, "Well, no computer this afternoon for you," and began to dust like we were paying him to do it. That's a benefit of two kids; when one gets in trouble, the other one will double-down on being angelic.
The apartment is clean by the way, and the sighing has ended. I've had a nearly lazy day, too. Once the work got completed, it was pretty much nap and school work. There is something about Saturday afternoon that all of the sudden you look up and it is Saturday night. I'm just happy the chores got finished.
I think I was a pretty contrary kid - always speaking my mind whether or not anyone was or wanted to listen. It is only fair that my Offspring lean that way, too. A fact that I'm sure my Parentals find very entertaining. They are appreciating their own beautiful revolution coming back to the beginning, I'm sure.
And we are fortunate, although our Offspring can be contrary from time to time, they are genuinely sweet and want to do well. They are just both heading into the confusing days of building a personality and a life beyond our little family walls. It is no small thing to try and build your own new tribe and to learn to manage your own autonomy. The ebb and flow of it washes over us as they sometimes bravely branch out on their own, and other times coming running to us for support. The same kid who wants to determine their own course in life, told me they cannot under any circumstance talk to their own teacher about a grade. (Really? You argue your case pretty well at home.) It is a complex journey and one that feels oh so familiar.
"You don't understand." They declare from time to time, never understanding that I said those same worlds to my mother, who probably said them to her mother not so very long ago. The world revolves and all of us on it, revolve with it, and with every turn it brings us home.
Keep moving forward,