Good Intentions & Open Communication
I remember when I finally felt brave enough to show my Mom the first few pages from my book. I was SO nervous that she would hate it or be angry at me or even insulted!! I had expectations of which pages might irk her, but of all the pages I showed her, THIS was NOT the one I expected an offended reaction from…
I made this comic just a little while after my mom bought me those pancake molds, not even fussing at ALL at the thought that her almost THIRTY year old daughter wants to make Cookie Monster shaped breakfast cakes. It felt like PURE JOY when she bought them for me.
When I was 15, 21 and even now at 31, I’ve always essentially liked the same things, and had the same interests. The problem was that while growing up, I was always “TOO old” or “TOO young” for these interests. Liking Sesame Street is considered kind of strange when you’re 9, and down right WEIRD when you’re 15, but I was still keenly aware I liked it. As far as I remember, I wasn’t ashamed of it. Well… at least, not COMPLETELY ashamed!
I yearned for acceptance at school but honestly, I yearned for it even MORE at home.
I never really felt accepted by my family (until the last year or two actually, but that’s ANOTHER story!). I felt like they wanted me to be somebody else, more like them, and I wasn’t able to get there. PLUS I was just always exhausted from hiding “ME” and just wanted to BREATHE, gasping for air at home, and hoping comfort followed.
That’s why it’s funny being an adult and seeing both sides so clearly. I totally understand a mother’s perspective to protect her child while still feeling like that sad, offended 15 year old. She was trying to “help” me, but as a child it can feel like one more closed door on happiness.
The bottom line is that things are interpreted differently. It doesn’t matter if you’re a child or an adult, sometimes things are just communicated ineffectively. People have good intentions without realizing the repercussions that might take effect.
Even things said with good intention could have an unknown negative effect.
Open honest communication is key.
Perhaps if my mom had said WHY she didn’t want me to have these items, instead of just saying no, then life would have unfolded a little differently.
About the Author:
Jenipher Lyn is an illustrator specializing in whimsical, encouraging, and often punny illustrations. Her drawings are mostly whimsical punny doodles and happy, encouraging words of wisdom and that EVERYONE [especially women and girls] NEED to hear!