We sat in the sunny, cheerful, morning room of my childhood home. Sipping coffee at the familiar wooden table, my mother and I discussed a matter that had always troubled me. In my eyes, one of her dear, lifelong friends had a seemingly perfect home life.
Mom was flabbergasted by my comments.
“Did I ever tell you about what Theresa did years ago while she chatted on her corded phone at her kitchen desk?”
In those days, one couldn’t roam around while having a conversation on a landline. (Thus, moms and others were literally chained in place by a stretchy cord attached to the phone. Please see Exhibit “A” above.)
Sadly, I was immensely eager to hear about the imperfections of this faultless friend of the family.
Mom continued, “Well, Theresa was so annoyed by her pestering son that she threw the phone at him. He ducked and the receiver hit and shattered a window adjacent to the front door.”
I guess Mom’s friend shared the goings-on of her family life, but Theresa’s kids always (in my opinion) portrayed an impeccable image.
My respect for Theresa grew by leaps and bounds during that coffee conversation. Not because she had become so angry at her son. Not because she wasn’t perfect after all.
I respected her for being honest about her family life.
These days, it seems to be the opposite. People may be more comfortable presenting all of the plusses of family life, while subtracting the missteps.
No family is perfect.
No family will ever be perfect.
All families are human.
Studies have shown that people feel compelled to present themselves in the best possible manner when posting on Facebook. These researchers also found that about 1/3 felt self-dissatisfaction following time spent on this social media platform, especially after looking at vacation posts.
Well, this imperfect mom will confess that in the past 10 minutes, I reminded my 14 YEAR-OLD to comb his hair twice. His comment, “Mom, why don’t you listen to me? I told you I’d do it after I finish my computer project. I’m almost done.”
It’s ok. I am Cate and I am a flawed mother. I’ll do better next time!
Wishing all of you a weekend blemished with the beauty that makes family life so very rich!
I’d love any comments!
Catie (Cate Pane)