Monday, March 15, 2010

Options...there always are some.

Sometimes choices are difficult to make. Sometimes situations are so unpleasant it may feel like there is no obvious solution and certainly not multiple solutions. There are often situations where any course of action will create additional unpleasantness. I do not recall in my lifetime ever being presented with a circumstance which had any less that two possible resolutions.

Recently I was having a conversation with an adult about a situation where she vehemently assured me there was “no other option!” Her insistence left me a bit befuddled and wondering why someone would refuse to acknowledge any alternative. Although most of the options were unpleasant for someone, the choice she made was wrought with challenges as well.

Although I have not always made the best choices in life I have always recognized that they were available. As a grade-schooler I could have chosen to do my homework neatly and accurately the first time before I went out to play so I wouldn’t have to redo it after dinner and right before bed. In junior high I could have picked a nice boy to have a crush on, instead I chose the rough and tumble boys from the bad part of the neighborhood (they were way more exciting, and my parents did not approve). In high school I could have gone to all my classes and been on time, instead I spent a good bit of time ditching classes, running from the Narc and having a blast doing so. In college I could have begun my papers at the beginning of the semester when I received the syllabus, but opted for waiting until the last minute and staying up all night to produce eight or ten pages of beautifully bullshitted prose (oh yeah, I made up a lot of that stuff and LOVED every one of those passing grades I received). I could have opted not to marry my first husband…yep, that one was a bad choice. I may not have acknowledged it at the time, but I’m pretty sure there was an option to driving home after drinking…many times. I could have abstained form sex until I was married, left abusive relationships, not had my children…in each of the situations there were always other options.

Now that I am a parent I am presented with completely different situations requiring difficult choices between multiple options. I want to raise strong, smart, capable and independent children…this means I can’t always bail them out, give in to their wants, believe them above no one else. I have to teach them about giving and responsibility. I would love to hand a large sum of cash to my son whose class is in competition with the others to raise money for the Haiti victims, but if I do this what will he learn about personal sacrifice? When he loses points for talking in class I could choose to allow him to blame someone else for drawing him into conversation; which I would love to do because I want my baby to be perfect and sweet and never in trouble. When my precious girl throws a fit because she wants only peanut butter and fluff sandwiches for dinner I would love to say “She won’t eat anything else, there is no other option.” But then what would I be teaching her about life and consequences of her actions? Do I want them to believe that I will always be there to bail them out and rely on no matter what, take up for them even when they are in the wrong, hand them what ever their hearts desire, and take care of all the difficult options they have before them? No, I do not want them to go through life this way. I want them to realize there are always choices to make and sometimes they are not fun...because I may not always be there, and they may not always be right, and sometimes what a person wants is certainly not in their best interest.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Rachel, I am a follower of your blog but somehow I do not get updates from it ever? Is it private? I LOVE IT. What honest words. I love that. It's so easy to make little "nothing" posts like I do. With family pictures, ramblings of yada yada takes something to make a post like this...sharing your faults, mistakes, feelings.... I absolutely LOVE it! Thanks for being you and inspiring me :) HUGS