A Lesson in Humility: Age Sometimes Doesn’t Matter by Vicky Dal Molin
“Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.”
Freud said that. Smart guy…. And something I’ve learnt to have at least some element of truth to it.
When I was pregnant with my son I joined a forum for pregnant woman who’s babies were due August, 2012. While a lot of the time the forum was filled with drama and what I suspect was some stretching of the truth by people being far from honest…. Something pretty awesome came out of it. A group of ladies – all due in August – spun off and formed a private facebook group.
We just had our 2 year anniversary which in my mind is pretty cool. 138 of us left (there’s been some goings but early on a decision was made to close the group so no new members) and we have shared a lot during that time. We saw each of us have our August baby (some early some overdue), experienced our little ones first birthday and now even seeing some of ladies have another child (Are they crazy?…. Perhaps a bit… How do they fit it all in?). We are scattered around the world and we probably share probably way too much for an online group. And it’s fabulous because we have become friends. Some of us have even met others either because we live nearby or because trips were organized.
What’s unique about the group though and which is why I bring them up today is that not only are we diverse in location and nationality but we are also diverse in age. I’m one of the “oldies (my term). And that is how we swing back around to the topic at hand. Being extremely humbled by being a part of this group. I’ve grown to care so much for my now friends….and I hope at times that I add value by contributing to the group. But really I think some days I have gotten a lot more out of it. Being a first time mum (FTM) I feel clueless most of the time. At first I was hesitant to contribute much by way of issues I was facing being a fairly clueless FTM. My posts would be about the latest interesting article about whatever baby topic was being discussed. But it wasn’t long until I started to realize that really the only way one learns about raising children is to do it…. And to judge someone by her age as being “too young” was frankly arrogant on my part. So I started asking the questions I was previously a tad too – dare I say it – embarrassed to ask, that I should have known the answers already.
What a humbling and enriching experience that has been. It has made me appreciate that frankly you can be my age and be clueless about an awful lot (I haven’t even started to deal with the fact I know zippo about potty training!). But I know whom to turn to when in doubt and that valuable piece of advice given sometimes comes from the youngest in the group.
And so today, when faced with yet another decision regarding parenting I turned to my go-to-girls and they did not disappoint. I got a different perspective, a LOT of support and we even look to have scheduled a tentative meet up of some of the Aussies when I visit home in August (a nice coincidence that it happens to be the same month as our group). I am considering leaving my son in Australia with my family for a couple of weeks to save him 2 rather lengthy trips (3 flights and 30 hours each way) but to accommodate 2 events and demands back here in NY. The decision had zero to do with my family as I trust them whole-heartedly – but with me and how do I deal with it. The responses were as varied and helpful as ever, a couple of slaps in the face: “wake up! This is a great idea”… to the “I couldn’t do it” and then there was the “if you do then here are some tips”. Humbled I stand!
I end this post with something that I am learning more and more each day – you will be enriched in life when you surround yourselves with people who care, who support, who are honest (even if it’s brutal)…. age doesn’t matter, experience and honesty does! And so I thank my dear August Mum’s and I look forward to many more years of sharing, and to continue being humbled time and time again because “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man.”*
*that was Hemmingway by the way.