The thing about kids is that they’re just so honest. You’ve surely heard it said that the only truly honest people are drunks and children. Their filters are non-existent. Kids call it how they see it. Unlike adults, they don’t hold back for fear of hurt feelings or ruined relationships, they just come out with it. This blatant honesty can often be harsh, but eye opening, none the less. In fact, in my personal experiences, the honesty of a child has, more than once, caused me to make life altering decisions.
Case in point, in the late 1990s I was teaching junior high mathematics in the town of Joshua, Texas. One day, two of my favorite students stayed after class to ask me a “personal question”. I thought I was prepared for anything they could throw my way, but I wasn’t prepared for…. “Miss Schaffer, are you pregnant?” What?! Mind you, this was 1998-99. The waist bands of our pants were where God intended our waist to be and we generally wore our shirts tucked in. A little too much Mexican food the night before and it was easy to acquire a little food baby, if you know what I mean. Nonetheless, these sweet girls thought their math teacher had put a few pounds on in the area that would indicate a baby was coming, so they asked. The honesty of a child. In reality, I HAD put on a few pounds, and their question sparked a desire in me to get back into shape, so I started running, and have continued to run off and on ever since. The honesty of those children changed my life!
Yet, the honesty of a child takes on a whole new aura when the child is your own. If they’ve grown up in a home where they know they are loved and their needs are met, then they believe what they are told. I know this to be true, because I truly believed and still tend to believe all that my friends and family tell me until proven otherwise, why would they lie? I’ve been told I’m a bit naïve, but I like to say that I‘m just looking for the best in people. Needless to say, if I tell my kids we are going to do “X, Y, Z on such-and-such date at a certain time” then they have no reason to believe it’s not so. They hold me to it. They remind me. They hound me. If something happens and it doesn’t happen as I initially said it would, then they ask “Why not?” In short, if I speak it, then they believe it. They’ve not been jaded by the harsh realities of over-scheduling and adult responsibilities that get in the way. Which is where I find myself today….reminded of something I said too long ago.
You see, I am one of those people who likes New Year’s Resolutions. It probably has something to do with my “listing” habit. I like to write it down so I can cross it off. “Check! Check!” Love it! In recent years, I’ve also taken the liberty of giving my family members personalized New Year’s Resolutions, too. I figure, if they can’t come up with something worthwhile, I’ll come-up with something I think they could improve upon. No surprise that they ignore me, but it makes me feel like the Queen Bee for a tiny minute.
So, 2016 rolls around and it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions. Amidst groans and complaints and a few chuckles, I announce the resolutions I’ve decided upon for everyone, because their resolutions just weren’t challenging enough. Then they ask what resolution I’ve given myself. With much pomp and circumstance, I announce, “This year, I’m going to start my very own BLOG!” I expected ooohs and ahhhs, and “That’s great, Mom!” However, instead I got blank stares and sweet, little Tilden, with the honesty of a child, says, “That was your resolution last year, too, Mom.” UGH! Busted! Not only are my children blatantly honest, they also have memories like elephants and obviously no empathy for their overworked mother who just never gets around to half of the things she wants to accomplish! Yes, dear Tilden, you are right, that was also last year’s resolution and also on my list the year before.
So, this is where I find myself today….recalling my failed New Year’s Resolutions. However, during the time of the summer solstice, I read an article about Mid-Year Resolutions. The basis being that it’s never too late to set a goal for self-improvement. I know of a few ladies that have recently set fitness goals right around the mid-year mark, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Thus, I set my mind that this blogging thing was going to be MY Mid-Year Resolution. Why a blog? Why not just keep posting my thoughts and reflections on Facebook? I don’t know…it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. Besides, I spoke it, and I needed to hold myself to it so I could cross it off my list and also so I didn’t have to face the looks my kids gave me when I admitted that I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. Check! Check! Done! Now, onto making everyone else’s mid-year resolutions…..
Check out my blog, “Tough Cookie” at www.emilyschaffersmith.com! 🙂