You are a woman. You’re going to mess up, but you can reinvent yourself (take Madonna, for instance). Resilience is yours and yes, you can. You won’t always know what you’re doing, but no one really does.
You should take care of yourself. You should treat your body right and not fill it with toxins. Will you always? No, but you can try and tomorrow is another day.
You should try not to assume things. You should assess the situation before jumping to conclusion, and offer insight based on experience rather than fear or insecurity. Will you assume? Sure, just put your ego in check.
You should be proactive and not waste your time on petty or unproductive people. Will you know the wrong people sometimes? Yes, but you can always weed them out.
You shouldn’t watch life happening around you. You should participate. You should stand up for what you believe in. Will you ever betray yourself? Of course! There are plenty of opportunities. Just start over tomorrow.
You shouldn’t be afraid to be the only one with an opinion even if everyone else in the room opposes it. Will you ever stand-alone? Absolutely, just remember that there’s an army of people who think like you do somewhere in the world, even if they’re not present right now.
These are a few of my favorite things (which I have learned from cool parents).
All of the above is easier said than done. Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Good examples are not a birthright. They don’t just come with the territory. Some people learn how to adult by example. Other people are like me: a product of many environments.
Self-taught adulting is learned also; the path is just more jagged because your examples are inconsistent. Parental guidance makes navigating this life a Hell of a lot easier, I will tell you that much.
Being a woman doesn’t beget being an adult. Being a woman doesn’t beget being a Mother, and being a Mother doesn’t beget being a good one. There are 60 year olds who never “grew up” and never will. Fact.
Do you have a cool mom? Sweet!
“What makes a person cool”, you say? I don’t know. Maybe it’s having a sense of humor. Maybe it’s being fun. Maybe it’s keeping calm and carrying on. Maybe it’s being trendy. Maybe it’s having the sophistication of street smarts and book smarts simultaneously. Maybe it’s being able to see eye-to-eye with people of all ages. Maybe it’s being realistic, living without judgment; being relatable, versatile, and worldly. Maybe being cool is simply knowing that people screw up, and forgiving them because you have too.
Good parents are like an endangered species, if you ask me. Anyone can have a child. Let’s face it; breeding is not hard. However, not just anyone can raise a kid, and commit to them for a lifetime with unconditional love.
Furthermore, not just anyone can do all of the above, and on top of that be cool. Now that’s brilliant. Cool parents are like fashion designers: capable of dressing you for every occasion and helping you express yourself in the process. They know what good lighting is and they try to keep you in your best. Cool parents make cool friends of their kids.
I know what it’s like to have a mother. I also know what it’s like to lose one. Many people have adopted me (so to speak) over the years. By now I’ve spent holidays alone. I’ve had boyfriends and friends invite me into their lives and families. I’ve met many cool families whom I admire and am lucky to know.
I spent this past Christmas alone, just my kitty Absinthe and I. It could’ve been lonely but didn’t bother me at all. I found comfort, peace and quiet in the solitude of the beautiful home I staid in. It belongs to the parents of a close friend. They may not care to give themselves the credit, but these folks are undeniably among the rare breeds to achieve cool-parent-status. For example, they have chickens (each appropriately named after a Kardashian) in a coup in their backyard (in Chicago), complete with a chandelier. How fabulous is that? Let’s just say they’re putting the chic in chicken coups across America. That takes talent.
I almost drowned at a water park when I was 5. I went down a waterslide and my mom was supposed to monitor that someone was there to catch me. I couldn’t swim yet. Well she didn’t and no one caught me. I was drowning for a good 5 minutes (I will never forget it). The memory is as clear as day. I frantically paddled for my life under the surface, fighting for air until someone else’ mom dove in and scooped me out. She saved me. This remains to be the theme of my childhood. Fun fact: who knew I would grow up to be a champion swimmer? Touché!
My fascination with good Mothers stems from my deprivation of one. Like I said, a Mother is a girl’s example of a woman. This might be common sense to you, but it was a painful life lesson to me. We’re not born with the same things. One is born into privilege, another into foster care. Good parents say, “it’s you and me kid, until the end.” They stay by your side through the highs and lows no matter how many times you mess up or how many times you need them. You don’t want to be a charity case, but we are not born equal. That’s for sure.
A cool mom forgives you for messing up. You know why? She knows how to live and she’s messed up too. She’s keeping it real. You are very lucky if you have this kind of force behind you. This is not to say you’re hopeless without, it’s just to say that you’re lucky to have them.
Here’s to good parents, cool parents, and unconditional love.
You saved me from drowning, you set an example, you’re stylish, you’re funny, and you gave birth to my cool friends. When it comes to being parents, you’re rocking it.