I plan my Parent Nags. I practice them. In the shower. In the car. In my head. Even with my 4th kid just 2 years from flying the nest, I still hold on to the idea that Perfectly Practiced Parent Nag is my best weapon of choice.
Today’s message wasn’t practiced. It wasn’t even planned.
As the Carmen part of the Frank-n-Carmen was on the floor beside me, sweatin’ it out in a torturous abs work out, the other part of that duo sat on the couch repeating, “I don’t want to run. I don’t want to run.”
Let me explain right now that I completely, totally, wholeheartedly understand that sentiment. In fact, I think people who want to run are a little weird. I took a poll once back when I first contemplated self-loathing through 5K training. I asked about a dozen runners what they liked most about running. Every single one of them said the same answer—stopping. So all of these folks were forcing themselves to take up a hobby that the most enjoyable part of occurred once they stopped doing it? What. The. Hell.
But my immediate response to my son was not that I understood his mantra. Instead I broke out the Emphatic Voice with a strong encouragement to get off his lazy ass and go run because his team was scrimmaging next week and even if he didn’t do it now, he would be sorry later if he didn’t so he should stop whining and just do it already. (Okay, so the kids are right, my Emphatic Voice sounded a lot like my Angry Voice. Also, my strong encouragement sounded a lot like a nagging nag.)
My oh-so-wise son shot back, “Geez mom, since you’ve been on this health kick, you’re really getting on to us about working out.”
Hmm…that was not my plan. That was not what I had practiced. It was time to improvise. It was time to get real.
I explained that my attitude really had nothing to do with a health kick. It had everything to do with how much 2015 has sucked. It started with the death of my beautiful friend in January, followed by the pointless still-born birth of a co-workers baby. Then my daughter’s future mother-in-law was found dead. A few weeks ago, another daughter attended the wedding of her dear friends, just to turn around and attend the funeral of the newlywed husband two weeks later. Last week, my third daughter’s classmate unexpectedly lost his dad to a brain aneurism. Just this week I was informed of the suicide of one my students. It’s only June, folks. It’s only fucking JUNE!
So I told him that if nothing else, 2015 has given me an intolerance for bullshit and excuses. If you want something, you’d better go get it now. Life is short. We don’t know if we’ll have a tomorrow. So what the hell are we waiting for?
He said, “Wow, Mom. That makes a lot of sense. That was probably the most motivational thing you’ve ever said to me.”
Wow is right! Maybe the Perfectly Practiced Parent Nag isn’t my best parenting option. Maybe real life is enough all by itself. In this case anyway, I couldn’t have motivated more if I had planned it.