This Isn’t a Lap Race
Recently I overheard two 50-year-olds talking. One was newly on their second marriage and was re-expanding and re-focusing on family, but upset that the kids from the first marriage weren’t rearranging themselves accordingly.
It wasn’t my conversation, but I couldn’t help seething quietly at his unfairness.
You had things the way you wanted them and your kids grew up with that. Now you want your kids to behave as if they suddenly have a different family than they did during their growing-up years? That’s a tall order, and sometimes, it’s an order that just can’t be filled.
Don’t get me wrong, people change, and most times, the people around them get used to it. But to hop into a new way of living and then get annoyed that your loved ones aren’t reshuffling theirs to match?
No.Â Your kids are not chameleon accessories to your lifestyle. Kids know, possibly better than even you, who you are and what you gave them. A new leaf might change the future, but it won’t change the past.
Life isn’t run on a track, where you get to return to where you’ve been over and over. It’s not even an out-and-back where you can revisit it all once you’re halfway done.Â If you do it right and you’re lucky besides, the people you love go alongside you, but you’re all on a one-way course.Â You can ask them to come, and you can explain yourself to help them understand why you want them along, but you can’t assume that they will – and you can’t just move ahead and get annoyed when you look back and find that they haven’t come with you.