Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Father (in-law) Knows Best

I remember the first time I met my FIL, it was for Thanksgiving and I had driven from Florida to North Carolina to be with my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time. I hadn't met too many boys parents at this point but I was confident I could win just about anyone over.

After meeting him I told my husband "He can be somewhat scary." He agreed and said his previous girlfriends were all pretty intimidated by his dad. I wasn't intimidated because I could read him...he is like me. A straight shooter, a no bullshit, tell it like it is type of person. And when we get peeved, we give you the silent treatment. Yep, I wasn't intimidated in the least. Now he's my father-in-law and he can tell a story like no other. He also is good at advice and just plain wisdom. Today he admitted something to us that got me thinking.

He began by saying that when you are young, you talk a lot about the things you are and aren't going to do. Or be. You know how your parents disciplined you as a child and you said you would never do that to your child. Same premise, only he wasn't just referring to rearing children. He was talking about everything in life. How you can't say something like "If my spouse ever treated me like so and so treats them, I'd leave." Why? Because if suddenly it happens to you and you don't leave, everyone remembers what you said; suddenly you look silly.

What really got me thinking was what he said about the future. He said we don't know our future or what it holds so we shouldn't go around spouting off about what we will and won't do until we are in the moment. You can't plan for what will happen in your future you can only prepare. Prepare and hope that it works out in such a way that you never have to eat crow.

There have been so many times that I have seen situations or watched things go on around me and I gotten self-righteous. I will never do that, I will never be that mom, I will never let my child do x-y-z. I already have had to admit defeat in certain areas, some as soon as I became a mom. I think it is an inevitable part of human nature to see things we don't like and voice how we will be different.

I can't predict or see the future from my high horse. What I learned today won't stop me from getting up on this same high horse. What will it do? When I am up there I will take a good look around and safely navigate a way down.

4 comments:

  1. WOW... such a good point. Because I HAVE learned to not say anything I will or won't do as a parent, but I'm not sure I've learned it in other areas.

    And don't you think it also has something to do with being tolerant? Cause quite often those "Oh I would NEVER do that" comes from a place of intolerance? Maybe if we stopped trying to decide how we'd handle something in the future, we'd also stop judging people who are dealing with it now?

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  2. I love this post. It really got me thinking as well! It is all so true! You just have to live, love and let life be!

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  3. Such a great point! I have learned to watch what I say because I can totally count out all the things I said I'd never do. It's so easy to judge until we've walked a mile in the shoes of those who we are judging! Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. Mmmmmmmmm... Thank you. My FIL is pretty great too :)

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