Monday, November 5, 2012

Looking Forward

One of my other full time jobs is parenting a Tween. A male Tween at that. My prior tweening experience has been limited to girls. Not the same by any means. At this stage of my life I continue to have to push my limits of parenting knowledge. All good. All welcome. Although, truth be told, some days are better than others.

On this week's parental lesson plan has been the nuances that distinguish between "looking forward" and "being fully in the moment." For the seasoned existentialists, the subtle yet significant differences are elemental. If you are a cancer journeyer (me) and the Tween (aka, the Goober) the differences can be a little more blurred.

A Tween, whether male or female of this subspecies, appears to be constantly looking forward: to the next play-date (although they are now called "hanging out(s)"); to the next sleep-over; to the next field trip; to the next video game; to the next iPad app; to the next birthday party. . . .you get the point. I find myself having to constantly remind him to push the pause button, look at where he is in the moment, and take time to appreciate the experience he is in the midst of at a given time.

For a cancer journeyer, I must do likewise. At the same time, however, I must also push myself to remember to look forward. Call it hope, optimism, the power of positive thinking...but I have to look forward. I have to imagine myself planning my daughters' future weddings; attending my Tween's college graduation; holding my daughters' hands while they are in labor; holding my grandchildren.

Unfortunately, there are days that these forward-looking thoughts feel more like pipe-dreams. Those are the days when I can't catch my breath; or when taking a deep breath creates the sensation that my ribs and sternum are splintering. Those are the days that the fatigue wins over my typical kinetic energy. Those are the days when inexplicable small hematomas pop up on my arms and hands leaving me sore and bewildered.

Those are the days that it is more important than ever for me to embrace and cherish the moment, while at the same time strongly reminding myself that there is the sweet potential for a tomorrow.

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