I like to be right. I like it a lot. When K was younger (and I knew things), that wasn’t a problem. She had questions and I had answers. It worked for us.
Now… not so much. I still have answers but she’s not all that interested in hearing them. Worse than that, K now has answers, maybe all the answers. She also has feedback for me, lots of feedback.
K is taking a class on dogs so she has a lot of suggestions on how I can improve my dog ownership skills. None of the suggestions involve her taking a more active role in the feeding, caring, or walking of said dog but rather how I can use her knowledge of canine behavior in my active role in dog feeding, caring, and walking.
K is also taking a class on natural resources and the environment. She’s quite a theoretical expert on saving resources. As I write this, she is probably thinking great thoughts about such things while having left a trail of lights on in all the rooms she’s visited today.
But it was the cell phone cord that really tested me. On Monday, at around 5:45 am, she inhaled deeply and said “Mom, can I ask you something?” For the uninitiated, the deep inhale meant that she was trying her hardest to be patient with me. The “can I ask you something” was her attempt at politeness. Without waiting for a reply, she pointed at my cell phone charger which was plugged in with no phone connected to it. “Can you please take your cell phone plug out of the wall when it’s done charging? It wastes electricity if you don’t.” Seriously? I’m wasting electricity? Because 5:45 am on a Monday is not my best time and because I’m the mother and I’m always right, we got into an argument over who leaves their phone charger in more often. She went off to school and I was left staring at the plug thinking once again “that was not my best mothering moment.”
Tuesday, I walked by the kitchen plug and there was K’s charger still in the wall even though both K and her phone had left for school much earlier. “See, I was right,” I said to myself, “She leaves her charger plugged in much more than I do.” Yesterday, there was her charger in the wall. I thought about taking a picture for proof I was right but I remembered this incredible and short Ted Talk, 3 things I learned while my plane crashed, by Ric Elias. Ric was on the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in 2009. Snippets from his 5 minute talk rattle around my brain and come to the forefront sometimes when I need them. One of the lessons he shares is “I regretted the time I wasted, in things that did not matter, with people that did.” I put my phone down and unplugged K’s charger.
“I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy” is another quote from Ric’s talk. This morning I noticed the charger just before K left for school. I pointed it out to her and suggested that we both try and be better about unplugging it. “Oh my gosh Mom, I’m so sorry.” “No problem, let’s both just try to remember. Have a great day.” “You too Mom.”
“I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy.” I will make an effort to remember that every day. It will be my New Year’s resolution. Just sayin’, most of the time? I am right.