Parenting Gone Well

-Peggy O'Mara.  

It was after 11 a.m. I’d been up for hours and already had two cups of coffee. I’d read the newspaper and worked on a blog post. I’d cleaned the kitchen and started dinner. I’d gone to the pharmacy and the grocery store.

On my way to the dry cleaner, with a list of more things to do in my hand, my phone lit up. There was a text from my 16-year-old daughter who was still on summer vacation.

TEXT MESSAGE: The air conditioning in my room does not work at all and so I couldn’t fall asleep last night till 2 a.m. and I woke up 20 times in a heat flash.

SEPARATE TEXT: And I’m dripping sweat.

If I had written back based on my initial reaction, it would not have been pretty.

Do you know what I’ve already done this morning and how much I still have to do? You slept until noon (when I’m upset, I tend to exaggerate) and you’re complaining? Is that text a nice way to start the day?

But I also know I was triggered by her discomfort. Honestly, when things don’t go right for her, I feel it. I took a deep breath and reminded myself I’m not responsible for everything, and that I didn’t have to fix the situation immediately; we’d both survive.

Parenting is not science; it’s an art. Our communication doesn’t always go well; but on that morning, it did.

MY TEXT: Good Morning, Love.

No lecture. (Admittedly, there was a bit of sarcasm but tinged with affection.)

HER TEXT: Lol.