I like to pride myself with being knowledgable about many areas of life. The running joke between my ex-husband and I is that I know a lot of useless information about a lot of useful things. I am the person you want to take on Jeopardy, Family Feud, or Name that Tune. I am an information junkie. I love to read the news, read a book and read people (in the good sense; however if you work my last nerve it will be another type of read). I have two degrees in social work, one of which is from the #1 School of Social Work in the country…GO BLUE!. I grew up in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Detroit and graduated from one of the best schools in the country Cass Tech #1 Second to None. I was however the QUEEN of SKIPPING..shhhh don’t tell my students I made it out by the skin of my teeth. But I say all of this to say that I have always felt like I had a lot of the answers in life due to being book smart, street smart and having good common sense.
That was until I had children! I had a great lunchtime conversation with my 19 year old daughter. As the old saying goes be careful how you treat your parents because you will someday have children of your own. My daughter and I have clashed a good portion of her life because we are so much alike in many ways. But today was different. I decided to be her “life coach” instead of her mother. I did more listening than talking. I took notes. I asked more questions and made less assumptions. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised.
I will be transparent and say these last 3.5 years have been rough on our relationship. She is trying to find herself and her life’s purpose. I am trying to be her GPS. She thinks I don’t understand. I think she doesn’t know what she is talking about. Today I realized that I don’t have all the answers and I don’t need to. My job is to gently challenge her. Support her. And provide sound counsel. Her path will have peaks and valleys. Trials and triumphs. But how she gets to and through all of them is really between her and God. I pray constantly for my children, but probably most for her because she received the Dodge Omni parent. It was the parenting starter kit. And as I explained to her we grew up together. She has some great goals, aspirations and strategies for how she wants her tomorrow to look, feel, smell and taste like.
To be honest, I like not having all the answers and watching her figure stuff out. It allows her the ability to take ownership of her information gathering and her destiny. Her decisions will be based on weighing HER options. Not her Mama’s. So no, Vanita doesn’t have all the answers. And at this point we are both okay with that.