Not all family dynamics have a wild child, but if yours does you know exactly who it is.
I am the wild child of my family. The youngest of three girls, I milked being the baby for all it was worth. I was close with both of my parents and after my mother passed away when I was younger, I really struck up a close bond with my dad. While he always had my back, I never made it easy. So this is for you, daddy, maybe one day I’ll stop making you worry.
Here are a few facts you may recognize about your wild child:
1. That smile always got them out of trouble.
You know the one. Remember that time they flooded the kitchen and made the floor into a slip-n-slide? Remember how mad you were until you saw that passionate grin on their face? Remember trying to keep it together as you scolded them on how you did not even own enough towels to dry up the mess? Those were the days!
2. They were so loveable.
Seriously, everyone loved them. Their friends, their friend’s parents, teachers, your friends… everyone. They could strike up a conversation with anyone to turn a stranger into a friend… and Lord they did. Like that time at the mall where you turned away for one second and lost them, only to wander around in a panic for minutes just to find them sitting with the homeless man having a regular conversation? Remember for weeks after that how they couldn’t wait to go visit their new friend ‘Jack’ at the mall again?
3. You tried to set boundaries but instead you set their new goals.
You told them not to go past the drive way on their new bike, so they took it three roads down. You told them curfew was at 10pm sharp, they came waltzing in at midnight. You told them ABSOLUTELY no drinking so they learned how to shotgun a beer before they even turned 17. You know they weren’t meaning to be spiteful, they just had to explore every inch of the forbidden. It’s in their blood.
4. Their minds are never set.
This started at a young age. Choosing between chocolate and vanilla usually led to a 30 minute break down, and the final consensus to get a swirl instead. Halloween came around and they couldn’t decide if they wanted to be an astronaut or a hippie, so they went as both. In high school it was a never ending stream of love interest, each so different from the last that you didn’t even try to remember all their names after the 4th one they brought home. Even now when they’re grown they can’t decide if they want to continue school or get a career, or in the midst of finals week drop out and resort to exotic dancing.
5. They cannot be tied down.
Now don’t worry, there is a good chance that one day your wild child will settle down and give you the grandbabies you’ve been asking about, but until then they are wild as the wind. Concerts, festivals, road trips, mini vacations. When you used to worry about them you would go down the hall and check to see if they are asleep in their rooms. Now it’s 3am, they’ve sent you four drunk text messages reminiscing about their childhood and why they absolutely deserved the pony you never gave them, and you have no idea where they are going to fall asleep tonight. Just breathe, they will be alright.
Because truth is, your wild child is just like you… And you turned out pretty damn good. They will pull their life together, probably last minute, and everything you’ve wanted for them will fall into place.
May they always be taking leaps of faith.
May you always be there catching them if they fall.
Enjoy your wild child while you can.