Scumboogahs and Scalawags 10

How easy it is to forget that in your youngish days you have had moments (or more) of being a scumboogah, scalawag, and/or a skank.

You have not always been perfect.  You have had bad judgment, mean moments, and done some things “you would not tell God himself if he didn’t already know,” to quote a character in the masterful story “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes.

It is easy to sit on a high horse when the relative good behavior, impeccable manners, and fading of memory has settled over your life.  You forget when you were finding your way.  (Not that you totally find it ever – it’s just that you’ve stopped searching so hard.)

Every adult person older than you, even some who are wearing their white hair proudly (or defiantly) have been there and done what you, a younger person, is doing now.  Forgive us when we act sanctimonious.  Forgive us when we do not understand. Tolerate our tales of “back in the day.”

Call us on our calm superiority or indifference to what you’re going through.  Remind us to stop preaching and listen, to stop solving and listen, to cease with the second-guessing and hear  you out!

It is hard to listen as an ally and not listen to interrupt, to challenge, or to correct.  It is especially hard if the person we are supposed to be listening to is someone we care mightily about – like a daughter or a son. It is difficult not to play generational one-upmanship.

Even oldsters as perfect as well…me…(lol) had (and have) vices, planned poorly (or not at all), took wrong turns, stumbled and bumbled, and screwed up.  It’s just that we forget.  It’s just that we want to protect you from the pitfalls along the road of life.  And sometimes, we want to protect our place of honor among you by not acknowledging that we, too, have been foolish.
Mistakes can be corrected, habits can be changed, and mothers can learn to listen.  I promise.

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

10 thoughts on “Scumboogahs and Scalawags

Comments are closed.