What changes in the chemistry of the adult brain that makes it seem unbelievable that anyone would walk away from a bag of chocolate chips without sealing it up and putting it away and the mind of a 12-year-old who munches the chips, then walks away without another thought for the bag?

Those who are parents know that when we ask our children why they did something, they most often say, “I don’t know” and they mean it.

As I reached into the drawer for a bag clip I saw the cake ball holder and I was struck by how contrary my children have been.

When our oldest son showed interest in auto mechanics, we rushed to buy him his own tool set.  The next semester he was over it.  When he took building trades his mother bought him a tool belt and tools to fill it.  He quickly fell out of love.  When he wanted to start his own lawn care business, I was ready to help him order business cards and create a business plan.  He never touched a lawn.

Our second child was into track.  We sent her to a college summer track camp and she never completed a full season again.  When she was interested in psychology I   offered to set her up with some colleagues and was ready to subscribe to Psychology Today for her.  She signed up for a psych class and decided she hated it.    She has always loved to bake.  When she said she wanted to open her own cookie shop, I supported her wholeheartedly.  I began buying cooking utensils for her and talking about cooking schools.

And the cake ball holder sits.

What would have happened had we said we didn’t think auto mechanic was a good career choice?  That baking was a hobby, not a career?

Of if I had let them dream their own dream rather than snuffing it out by adding too much fuel to the fire?

I keep reminding myself that life is a journey and we’re each on our own paths, that age does not indicate wisdom or any degree of perfection, but I keep feeling like I should know more, know better, by now.

Maybe my mother should tell me that I am a mess and have no idea what I’m doing.  Maybe then I would figure it out.