And sadly, neither do I.
Could you imagine being in your 20’s and having a child that looks at you like you’re the oracle for every ounce of knowledge known to man? Actually, forget about 20’s. What about your 30’s or even your 40’s? No, thank you.
I am in my 30’s with a young child that looks at me like I know everything. (Which, if you’re talking to my husband, please remind him that I do, in fact, know everything. Thank you very much.)
Nothing quite reminds you of how you don’t have anything figured out like a pair of big blue eyes staring up at you, asking you why something exists, or why something happened. And the moment they find out you’re just making things up as you go along? *mind blown*
I still remember the day I realized my mom didn’t know everything. Oddly enough, it was over a russet potato.
My family operates on a few things: soda, carbs, starch, and guilt. Growing up, baked potatoes were a staple as a weekend snack, sometimes enjoyed in the middle of the night while watching SNL. Obviously, actually baking the potato was a tad too time consuming, so we opted for the microwave. Each time I was about to pop one in the microwave (that was big enough to cook a turkey, I kid you not), I’d ask my mom how long I should put it in for. She always gave me a time, and I went on my merry way enjoying my lunch.
Then one day, she asked me what I thought the cooking time should be.
Uh, what? Excuse me? I don’t know these things; I’m a child! Gosh!
So, I offered up what I thought would be sufficient, and she told me to try it. It was at that time it dawned on me that she had been guessing the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME. You’d think this would have been the start of many years of me questioning everything she told me, but it wasn’t. Although, I was significantly more suspicious of adults from that point on. (My uncle once told me not to drink coffee because it will put hair on my chest. Being Italian, I was hairy enough and didn’t want to take any chances. Could you imagine if I had I gotten that advice after The Potato Incident? Who knows how hairy I’d be by now.)
Looking back on my childhood, and at the ages my parents were during times of great turmoil for our family, I can only imagine the heartache and stress they were feeling. My parents were in their late 20’s, early 30’s when they divorced and remarried other people. I look back now at how little I knew in my 20’s, and can only imagine how hard it was to lose one family, form a new one, all while having these little faces at you thinking you know everything and will make it all okay.
As my daughter grows up, I’m hoping the day she realizes I don’t know half the things she expects me to won’t be seared into her memory (or if it is, I hope it’s a really funny story). When I look at my own parents now, it is from the perspective of someone that has learned that we are all human and we are all doing the best we can in any given moment. I wasn’t sure I could love my parents more than I already do, but realizing that they too are just human makes me love them even more.