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Looking for Balance

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Reading The Middle Place has gotten me to think about “the middle place”.

That place where everyone knows you are an adult; you know you are an adult but you try to forget that fact.

You have a husband and child and your own new family yet you still need your parents’ approval.

I wonder if you ever transcend or grow out of the middle place.

Will there ever come a time when I won’t crave my parents’ approval and acceptance?

The more I contemplate life’s transitions, the more I’m struck by the permanence of it all.

When I was very young, I would pester my mom incessantly to watch me time and time again. As I grew older, I would strive for approval from Mom when it came to grades.

And boys.

And clothes.

And just about anything that you can think of.

Now that I have my own daughter, I can see that burgeoning need for approval.

When she scribbles with a crayon or does something that I ask of her, her eyes light up and she waits for a beat to see if I noticed.

I’m not sure if my constantly striving for my mother’s approval is normal, but, I know that it is common.

There is a distinction there somewhere.

One thing that all of this reflection has helped me to realize is that while striving for approval is a necessary evil, it can go too far.

My hope is that I can find a balance for myself and in turn, pass that onto my daughter.

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