Frustration – watching your own child’s frustration with a math assignment before he/she/it even starts the problem and recalling your own math anxiety and failing miserably at explaining why this frustration is totally unwarranted and also, yeah, kind of stupid and would you just please TRY THE PROBLEM.
Helplessness – trying to convince your stressed out, in need of some counsel, personal, born of your loins offspring that you are, in fact, somewhat of an expert in how people learn and how to problem solve and cope with challenging personal situations. As in…this is my job and you might not believe it because I am your mother, and I will thank you very much to stop rolling your eyes buddy, but there are lots of people all day trying very hard to get my attention so they can have five minutes of my time to get just some of this advice and you are IGNORING me when I’m right here, right now, all the time actually, offering it up to you on a silver platter. Someday you’ll thank me. Oh yes. Yes, you will.
Payback - the fact that my
lecture wise counsel about staying organized and how neatness counts was met by a comment about the condition of my purse. Although extra points for being observant. An observant smart ass, but observant, nonetheless.
Body blow – when your kid confesses to you his/her own anxiety/sadness/fear/grief/anger about the very same insecurities that have chased you down your entire life and that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy, let alone your most beloved.
Love – that you will probably be thinking about all of this, with brief interruptions for passing musings about the season premiere of Dexter, what you suspect Coke Zero is doing to your GI tract, and the size of your ironing pile, for three more days before you feel any kind of peace.