First off as I share this post I will open up with saying I am not a parent, yet. I am an aunt that has a ton of “Rent-A-Kids”. Meaning when a niece or nephew is in my care, I treat them as if they were my own. I can’t even claim to say I am the best Aunt. I undoubtedly have my faults. I am the last child of a large blended family. I have nieces and nephews that are older than me and they have teenage and adult children. Many of which while I was attempting to successfully graduate from “It’s All About Me University” aka my 20s; I spent years adjusting to a life where both my parents had passed away suddenly within 5 years of each other. I learned how not to see myself as a victim but delivered from an unhealthy emotionally, spiritually and financially long term relationship. For a time, I didn’t think my presence or absence thereof would be missed in the living fabric of my family quilt. I didn’t know how wrong I was with having those kinds of thoughts not only for my own personal wellbeing, but also my family’s.
See, I grew up tremendously family oriented. I spent a lot of time with my older siblings, cousins and my uncles and aunts. When I cut them out of my life as a defensive mechanism, so I could heal from my parents deaths; I inadvertently I missed out on experiencing with them the joys of the birth of their children and watching them grow up. During the last 5 years or so, I have been working on correcting this, and making up for lost time. In doing so, I now have the pleasure of being so not out of sync with a few of my teenage nieces and nephews to be their friends on social media. I try my best not to embarrass them when they post things online, so I have yet to be de-friend.
The other day as I was scanning my newsfeed, one of my nieces said something to garner my attention. Usually I ignore the status updates as typical teenage banter unless they say something so off the wall that I have to say something. Her post yesterday made me say something.
What I find funny, sometimes when I see those posts on Facebook its déjà vu. What they are experiencing now, their thoughts and rationalizations reflect those of their parents at their age. Only difference between them in their parents is… Their parents shared their feelings offline… Kids, your parents honestly do understand you. They just may be too embarrassed to tell you they did the same crazy things you are doing now… With far fewer consequences … The world, is a bit crazier and more unforgiving today with social media, than it was just 17 years ago. Your silliness back then could be isolated… Today it could go viral or in some cases cost you your freedom or life…
So, the next time your parents go off on you… don’t be so quick to get offended and think they can’t understand you. Trust me they do and that they love you. They just don’t want you to repeat their mistakes.
© 2013 – 2014, Lela Jefferson Fagan. All rights reserved.