More previous thoughts:
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Did you know you’re the best, Mommy?
My daughter says this to me on a regular basis. And I don't just mean weekly, I mean several times a day. She is also regularly asking me, "What did you like best about ___________?" or "What was your favorite part of __________?" But I am always hard-pressed to pick a best or favorite anything. I guess that's why I have a difficult time when someone tells me about the best (you can fill in the blank here...) I mean really, unless you've experienced all of the (okay, I'll use...eggs benedict, since I love food) there is to try, how can you possibly know it's the best? Certainly, it's the best you've tried, in your opinion. But then, maybe it was the fact that you had this eggs benedict at a restaurant on the California coast, al fresco, with the humidity hovering at a high 20 percent. And maybe you were sharing the eggs benedict with your oldest and dearest (dare I say it, best?!) friend. Absolutely, it may qualify as the best, in your book. But I'm betting it isn't the BEST.
The same is true with parenting. Of course my daughter thinks I'm the best...I am her only mother, and her loyalty to me is by nature very strong. She may meet other moms who are more fun, more patient (easily!) or more 'cool', but I will always be the best. I am what she knows, what she is familiar with, and to whom all her memories of childhood are so connected. But I bet there are better moms out there.
So, I'm not comfortable with superlatives. I feel there is always room for good, better and even better, but best is elusive. I feel the same way about experts...those who feel their life experience with (once again, fill in the blank) gives them superiority in that given area. Not true. For every definitive fact they may give you about (gardening, cooking, raising cats, etc.), I am fairly certain someone can give them an exception. That is what makes our life experiences so special. If we listened to the experts, we might not do things our own way. Throughout time, improvements have come from deviating from the tried and true. By all means, gardening (for example) requires sun, earth and water. But have a little fun, experiment! Make it your own.
That is all.