How perfect do we expect to be? When should we censor the “little voice” inside our heads, and when should we listen?
Saturday morning I felt a pang of maternal guilt bigger than any I’ve felt in a long time. It was SAT test morning for Matthew. And my son was really prepared. Not only mentally, but he also tried really hard to be prepared physically. He played 90 minutes of tennis on Friday afternoon to clear out his head, and be ready for a good night’s sleep. We went for an early dinner at his favorite Japanese restaurant. When the waitress asked for our drink order, Matthew ordered hot tea. I immediately thought about the caffeine, but then immediately answered the voice in my head with the following rebuttal: he’s a big boy, one cup of tea isn’t much, if I mention it, he’ll give me that look, if I mention, I plant the idea in his head, and that will keep him up. So I didn’t say anything.
But the next morning when I put a big, healthy breaksfast on the table, and Matthew came into the kitchen, he said,”I drank tea last night. I couldn’t fall asleep, and when I did fall asleep, I woke up again.” My heart sank. I should have said something. He agreed with me. I should have said something. Grrrhhh….
Barbara J. Feldman says
I got a lot of interesting comments on this one.
Jenny wrote to tell me she always listens to the little voice in her head. She learned the hard way when a friend of hers fell off a wall and Jenny hadn’t spoken up.
Claudine suggested that it was a combination of test anxiety and mother-imposed pressure that kept him awake. Hmmm…
Sjoerd said I did the right thing, because now he’s learned the lesson for himself. Very good point!
Thanks for all the email,