So Fuss has started asking me about himself when he was "a little baby", which got me thinking about the ways families disseminate their mythology. Things you say to little kids aren't like the things you say to anyone else, who's brains are well formed and generally impervious to everything but nuclear attack. Yeah, sometimes talking to Fuss is like talking to a bowling ball. But other times you can see every word drop like a smooth stone into a clear pool and watch them sink down, down, down to the bottom where they will sit undisturbed for a geologic age.
Those times give me pause.
My family was big on an alternately self aggrandizing & self pardoning mythology, and it took long years of therapy to recognize that and begin razing their Potemkin history. You can't be perfect for your children, the job is too demanding. But for those times when I'm not a toxic combination of exhausted and exasperated & just trying to survive until bed time I try to serve him better than I was served.
When he asks me questions in a certain way, or I see that still look on his face I pause and I think and take my time replying. And I never, ever try to justify the bad decisions I make and the periodic dumb crap I do when I'm past my limit.
Kids have it hard enough without their family piling on.