And that isn’t nearly as much fun.
It’s easy to say “Life isn’t always fair” (or, more accurately, “Life doesn’t always seem fair”) and “Worry about yourself” and “Work harder” and “It’ll all turn out” and “You’ll survive” and “Suck it up” (yes, I tell my kids, “Suck it up”) to a 10-year-old ticked about putting away laundry or a 4-year-old hellbent on ratting out his brother or a 5-year-old shooting baskets with limited success.
It’s a whole lot harder when you need to (not have to; need to) serve every one of those lovely platitudes on a silver platter to yourself.
You want to look in the mirror and roll your eyes.
You gag a little.
All of a sudden you start to question whether or not you know what in the heck you’re talking about. Ever. In any way.
You start to think you might actually be as mean and clueless as your children sometimes suspect you are.
But you’re not (well, not 100 percent of the time). You know what’s right. You know how things should be handled. You know the correct response, even if you’ve already flailed around a (big) bit trying to get there.
So you take a breath and take a drink and chew some humble pie and resolve to lead by example and move forward in a way that will allow you to keep a straight face the next time you shrug and say, “Things won’t always go how you want, buddy.”
And you promise to be a little more sympathetic when you do…