children are like wet cement

children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.- dr haim ginott

yesterday, the little ones and i spent a painful three hours in the car scouting a new location. on the way home, i hear:

sky:  mom, you should get that stuff. me: what stuff? sky: that stuff on the commercial. me: why? what's on the commercial? (even though i knew exactly what commercial was on) sky: that stuff that makes you look younger. (pause) sky: and makes your wrinkles go away. me: really? you think i need to look younger and make my wrinkles go away? sky: hee hee hee. (giggling. and more giggling.)

the commercial? hydroxatone. anti-aging solution. reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. improve the condition of your skin. etc. etc.

after i laughed a little, the conversation really got me thinking.

i already knew that skyler listens to pretty much everything and processes it in great detail. but have i really talked about my fine lines, wrinkles and age spots that much, to make her aware that i might be interested in such a product? did she overhear me talking to a friend? have i joked about getting old too much? aye!

i'm really self conscious of situations like this b/c growing up, i clearly remember my mom being, shall i say...a bit overly-focused on her weight. little hot pink paper strips covered numerous locations around my house--"my goal weight is 135 pounds". i opened the fridge and saw "my goal weight is 135 pounds". i looked in the mirror and saw, "my goal weight is 135 pounds". and as long as i can remember, i too, was overly-focused on my weight. a direct result of my mom? i'm not positive, but i am sure it did have some impact on my weight obsession, which began as a young child.

i was always dieting, many times starving myself in the process. and at one point, in college, i was even bulimic. it wasn't until i was in my 30s, that i finally starting eating better and not worrying about my weight. i threw away my scale, which i had stepped on numerous times every day. i ate when i was hungry. and didn't eat when i wasn't. and if i wanted junk, i ate a small bit, whenever i wanted. i stopped obsessing about every morsel of food. and it feels so good.

i have always struggled with self-confidence and self-esteem. even though...i was always smart, i was on homecoming court in high school, i was a pom-pon girl and in the popular crowd, i did great in college. but through the years, i never saw it in myself. at least to the point that i considered it good enough. and i still somewhat battle these thoughts today. my self-confidence and self-esteem are way better than they used to be, but some of the thoughts and struggle still lingers.

but that's why it's so important for me to do my best to pass goodness on to my children. i don't want my kids to obsess about the superficial things in life. i want my children to who they are and what they do.  i want to teach my children to have high self esteem and self confidence. to see the beauty in diversity.  to always try their best and know that if they do, no matter what the outcome, it's good enough.  i want my children to love themselves. and love others.

i definitely believe that children are like wet cement and what we directly and indirectly do is making an impression on them--whether we realize it or not.