The most authentic relationships I have…

Sandi and her two amazing kids
Sandi and her two amazing kids

…are with my children. They see the uncensored version of me. All day. Every day.  I love it!

Tonight before they headed to bed, my two high school kids and I were having a chat…which they also do with each other almost every day just to have some face time. {Which I love!}

Tonight was an interesting and entertaining conversation. It wrapped up with my son laughing almost to the point of tears saying “you are so not like other parents” and when I asked how so he replied “because you talk to us about stuff that other parents would never do…and you like have fun with it”. To which I replied, “and you thank your lucky stars for that every day, don’t you.” His reply was, “well not every day, but often, yeah, I do”. {insert melting heart here}.

As I think back to our conversation, I am so filled with gratitude and warm fuzzy’s. Then it dawned on me. My most authentic, transparent, communication based relationships are with those two kids. There are many people in my life who see many sides of me. They see authenticity, but maybe not quite all of it. My kids know more about how I think, act, what I care about, find funny, what I don’t like, what upsets me, and makes me smile than just about anyone else. They see my interactions with people I am close to, and some not so close. They see what I do in certain situations, and then how I feel about it later. They know when I am “acting” and they know when I am genuine. They hear my inner dialogue when dealing with fun, stressful, confusing, and complicated situations. There is no topic off limits, and nothing that I won’t discuss with them.

Why, I ask you, is that so odd? Why would my kids say that I am so not like other parents? Why would walls be built and parameters set with the people that we as parents are the most responsible for?

If we are having the difficult conversations, or the ones that would make teens, high schoolers, and apparently some adults uncomfortable I sort of throw it out there, add a little more, and then ask if there are any questions. If there is the hint of more information needed, or some continuing “wow mom, I can’t believe you are talking about that” I’ll keep going. What I want them to know is that the world is here to be explored, and when there is something new, interesting, confusing or strange, there is a safe zone that exists, and will always exist for them to discover it. They can discover the topic, and have the time and space to figure out what they want to do with the information, and how they will think and feel about it.

I’ve sometimes pondered life and wondered what it’s all about. What’s the purpose, what’s the meaning? I have also had moments with my kids where I didn’t know what to do.

What I do know now as I see the amazing kids that I have, and the young adults the have already become, slipping in before I could notice the change had already happened, I know that I’ve done something more right than anything else I’ve ever attempted. And every day I get the chance to do it again.