Parenting

Bad Clay, Good Clay

Last night my daughter was working on a portfolio for her English class at school. One of the pieces she had to write was about some type of epiphany she has experienced in the course of her childhood. She’s been reading excerpts and I have to admit I am impressed. What she is saying is also making me think, a lot. This girl is wise beyond her years, and it shows through in her writing, which, I may add is pretty darn good.

The piece she was writing about is in part about the past five or six years and the not so great decisions she thinks she has made along the way (bad clay, she says). Well, while she was reading the piece to me I was thinking about how she of all people wasn’t using “bad clay.” Seriously. I can make a list a mile long of people who were using the bad clay and maybe still are.  She is not one of them. But honestly, I am on that list of people. Or at least, I have been on the list at one point or another.

A lot of those choices my daughter made were actually choices influenced by adults who quite frankly should’ve known better.  Once we were talking and I told my daughter that it (the divorce) must’ve been so hard for her and she said “You have no idea, Mom, ” and she was right. I had no idea what it was like for her. I still don’t.

I suspect that is how it is for a whole lot of other people in my children’s life.  They have no idea.  They have no idea that not only is it the things that they say or do, but also the things they don’t say and don’t do. They all keep using that bad clay, and the foundation keeps getting weaker and weaker, until one day it is entirely possible that everything will crumble.  I would like to think I have learned my lesson and am using more good clay. I think I am.

All of the most important lessons I have learned in life have been a direct result of my children’s influence.

We had to take a parenting through divorce class before the judge would sign off on our divorce, and we both came away from the class confident that we each already knew all there was to know. We obviously didn’t. I told J that if anyone should teach the class, it should be the children of divorce. They’re the ones who can really tell you what or what not to do.

They’re also the ones who know where to find the good clay.

What do you think?