My older sister told me last night that I had incredible temper tantrums when I was a little kid. She said the kind where I pounded the floor with my fists and screamed and hollered. It made my day to find this out. It means I didn't sit passively through my childhood. I had spunk. My memories are of being obedient and good so that my mom wouldn't have her own tantrums. There is a part of me that whispers to that little child throwing a fit on the floor, "You go girl!"
When I was packing for the retreat this past week, I used a suitcase I received for my 18th birthday. That was twenty five years ago and I decided I was packing it for the last time. In the years before I left home I heard my mom often say how she was looking forward to when us kids grew up and moved away. This many years later I can understand that her words came mostly from the weariness of bearing the brunt of responsibility for the active parenting in our home. But as a kid all I could hear was that she couldn't wait to see me leave. So when I got luggage for my 18th birthday it only reinforced that message. As I have been working through childhood issues I know it's time to let go of the actual suitcases too. It is rewriting the script of hearing my mom's words of "(Out)you go girl" echoing in my head to being my own cheerleader and saying to myself "You go girl!"