Tuesday, 18 November 2014
The Art of Showing up Honest
The third summer we've settled in Canada, I took my then pre-schooler to the amusement park in Southern Ontario. The year was 2001 and I felt quite proud, as a relatively new immigrant, to be exposing my kid to more than just City of Toronto attractions, such as Toronto ZOO, Royal Ontario Museum or Centre Island. The movie Blackfish would come 12 years later, helping me make a decision to never, EVER take my kids see the whales in captivity again.
Few days after our outing, it was time to take Filip for a physical. The paediatrician, our wise Dr. G always wanting to involve the child in the yearly exam experience, asked:
- Filip, how old are you this summer?
- I am five and a half - he replied readily... then added - but last weekend I was four, when mama was buying tickets for Marineland!
There was no time for blushing as Dr.G bursted into laughter, clearly impressed with his little patient's verbal and observational skills.
- Trust me, I know... I have four kids... It's a total rip off!
Although I laughed with him, the only rip off I felt was in the pit of my stomach. There is a hash-tag for it... #PARENTINGFAIL
What I "saved" at that gate that summer day had a value of about 35$. What I almost completely spent that day was the credit every parent has in their child's eyes. Up to that point, I was still the smartest, the prettiest, the "bestest" mama in the whole wide world.
A day later, we visited Toronto Humane Society handing them a cheque for 50$. On our way there, with Filip in the booster seat, I showed up honest. It wasn't easy, hence the rear-view mirror trick. But it was an exercise in me coming clean in front of ME. I regained my respect for me. My boy simply continued loving me... Then he asked me to adopt a dog!
Money is no longer the most valuable currency - transparency is. One can hide from Instagram. Refrain from Twitter. Tune up Facebook's Privacy settings to the max. Delete the LinkedIn account to cover all traces of employment history. And yet, no amount of cyber-security expertise will ever help if one can not show up honest when looking at themselves in the mirror.
Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome, Добродошли to the proverbial gates of "Marineland" (pun fully intended). What do you have to declare? C'mon, once it's done for the first time, it's easy! Then just keep showing up honest. Take care of any outstanding debts, of any kind -- one way or the other they are always paid in full.
Later that afternoon @the home of Hasson's (it's been 14 years and I have a pre-schooler again!):