My personality is quite different from that of my husband and my middle child. The two of them believe that life is either black or white, and they believe that you can either be right or wrong. They are also good at math.
I see unicorns and rainbows.
My son and I were discussing this very difference the other day. “Mom, you think things are purple,” to which I replied “Oh yes and sometimes they are!” This was his way of describing my tornado personality. I get some of my approach to life from my parents. My mother plows through life with a vengeance and my father can fix anything with duct tape and determination. I make my son extremely nervous with what he perceives as a uncontrolled and chaotic way of thinking and doing things. This became even more apparent during the first week of school as I dumped his binders on the counter top and started to tell him how I would approach organizing his stuff.
I was completely shut down and rejected. I have no business trying to micro manage a 7th grader. I did manage to completely stress him out though, because my personality grates on his nerves like nails on a chalkboard. Some unkind comments were exchanged and at the end of our little debacle I turned to him and said “The funny thing about life honey is that one day you will probably marry someone like me AND it is amazing that my crazy has kept you alive until the age of 12 so far!’
And then I whirled away from him. It was then that he told me that I saw things in purple when they were black and white. We laughed at the entire scenario and it helped me understand him and my husband just a little bit more.
I believe in purple and I believe in shades of gray. I believe that determination can change any situation. I believe in pushing through difficult situations or scenarios and I sometimes jump before I think. I’ve always been this way, having had a deep trust in my ability to work my way out of difficult situation with sheer determination.
My son lost his phone. He lost it and I’ve been determined and obsessed in my quest to find it. I’ve annoyed my friends with texts asking if he left it in their homes. I’ve done the laundry and have searched every drawer, nook and cranny in our house. I’ve been relentless for four days. My black and white husband and son looked under my son’s bed. They did this together and they did this twice.
On the fourth day of the case of the missing phone I decided that the problem was actually purple. I knew my husband looked under the bed and therefore it could not be there if I succumbed to his way of thinking. However, I do not think like him or my son. I tore off all of the bedding. I pushed up the mattress and stared at the floor below it, viewing nothing but dust and broken pieces of old toys. I pulled the mattress out in addition to lifting it. Lo and behold, where the mattress was touching the floor the phone was wedged between the edge and his bed. VOILA! SUCCESS! OBSESSION OVER!
He and my husband were a bit frustrated about the entire situation and I must admit I may have thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s the thing though, I want to teach my children that there are all different types of people and ways of thinking. It goes beyond race and it goes beyond culture. There are introverts and there are extroverts. There are close-minded people and their are open-minded people. People’s perception becomes their reality. It is truly a talent and a skill to recognize the differences in people and either adapt or approach them with kindness and understanding. If you view life in only one way you miss out on the many colors in the rainbow.
See the purple? Diversity is what makes life so very interesting.