I just read one of those “Letter to My Daughter after I’m Dead” things on Facebook. Yet another reason I really need to start spending time doing productive things and not scrolling the e-universe, but those darn pajama-wearing goats keep bringing me back. Facebook is like crack for the ADD mind.
Anyway, this letter was full of light and airy, yet very deep and meaningful, words of advice for the dying woman’s 13 year old. Tear jerking, smile inducing. You know what I’m talking about. And my cynical mind, out in full force this gloomy morning, thought, “Give the girl a break, would you?” I mean, she just lost her mom, and here comes her mom’s voice from the grave telling her to shine and smell roses and don’t think negative thoughts and avoid vampires (aka, boys who are bad for her). It’s not enough that we parents hover when we’re alive, we now have to send our precious children letters after we’re dead, telling them how to live their best lives?
Those propellers are getting pretty loud.
In truth, this girl may be a perfectly lovely person who will go out and spread love and hope and run a charity for homeless dogs, and she may credit her dead mother’s instructive letter as inspiration to lead this life. Or she may become a rebel, battle anorexia, be snarky once in a while, fail a test, quit cheerleading, have a bad boyfriend. These are life’s realities. What she really needs to know is that her mommy, wherever she may be, loves her.
Maybe the “Live This Life Not That” message in that letter is the way today’s competitive, over-achieving, hand-wringing parents know to show love.
The most rewarding thing is when your adult(ish) offspring has enough trust in your unconditional love that they let you know about things in their lives they know you don’t “approve” of or that they are not following your wise advise. Or when they admit that, yes, that was wise advise, darn it, but I had to learn for myself…. 😉 I must say I’ve bitten my tongue so often I’m surprised it’s not pierced…