My mom had many many memorable quotes when I was a child.
One I didn’t understand until I was an adult – actually long into my adult hood was “Life’s hard. Then you die.”
I looked back and wondered, why would you tell your child that? It seemed illogical. Shouldn’t we be teaching our children to look for the good, to be smiley and sunshine and rainbows and all that good crap?
I understand her now.
First of all, she had a hard life. And she didn’t get bowled over by it. She made her own way, found her own place, she was happy all on her own.
She made a nice life for us, but I feel like she didn’t want us to be fooled into thinking life would always be nice. She also wanted us to see that you can either sit down and give up when life is hard, or you can get up and keep going. Either way it will be hard, and eventually you will die. What you do with the times in between are up to you.
What really brought it home to me the other day was my son was saying how “unfair” life is. About something that was affecting his 5 year old world terribly, apparently.
“IT’S NOT FAIR” he wailed.
And you know what? I feel that way a lot. I mean A LOT lately.
Just because his problem is “smaller” than my problem in my eyes doesn’t mean his problem isn’t still there and real and very upsetting to him.
And honestly, I felt like the best thing I could tell him right then was that life ISN’T fair.
And sometimes it really sucks.
Sometimes we can’t understand all that life is throwing our way and we just want to sit on the stairs and wail that “it isn’t fair.”
I thought of all the things in my life that “aren’t fair” right now – and I wanted to tell him about them. But didn’t. He had enough on his little plate.
So I sat down with him and I said “You are right. It isn’t fair. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.”
He looked at me and blinked away some tears and he said “It ISN’T.” Calmly this time.
And then he got up and continued on.
THIS was what my mother wanted to tell us.