THE MATURE HARD TIMES ALTERNATOR
I recently became aware of an extension to an earlier hypothesis around the distribution and amelioration of Hard Times. This revelation came about during a moment where it was all I could do to keep my sanity because waaaaaaaaaaay too much stuff was going down. In the presence of my children, I had a major – and, apparently, noticeable -- lapse of my usual Momveneer* of steady competence and cheer – and Guess What!
The kids could actually handle it.
G, usually happily – to his mother, scarily - devoid of Executive Function and Mundane Practical Concerns/Attention, became suddenly attuned to things he’d never seemed to even register before: “Mom, don’t you need to put your turn signal on here?” he asked, to my utter astonishment (filtered through a murky haze of despair). “You seem like you are not focusing,” he told me a few minutes later. “Do you need to take a break?”
Meanwhile Z, who is not known for being forthcoming about her intentions or actions, became crystal clear, meticulous and solicitous: “May I get a glass of water?” (My reaction, percolated via a thick fog of dejection: HUH???) “May I get you a glass of water too?” “How are you doing, Mama?”
It gradually dawned on me that what I was experiencing was a manifestation of The MATURE Hard Times Alternator. I had been well aware of the machinations of The Hard Times Alternator (THTA) in my children, but did not know that it was also potentially a major player in any Full family dynamic. Adults are usually a peripheral factor in the HTA equation. I hadn’t realized grownups sometimes – however momentarily - merit this sort of ethereal (yet, when necessary, child-incorporating) intervention!
Figure I – The Mature Hard Times Alternator in Action, utilizing the
This flare-up of The Mature Hard Times Alternator is not something I would want to incur too often. I like to let my kids be kids, and I think some of their response was out of anxiety. Plus, that sort of disastrophe pile-up is not something I’d like to endure with any frequency. It was nonetheless liberating and reassuring in the way it revealed the junior Full Spectrums’ potential capabilities -- and to see them step up when called for by TMHTA.
This holiday season, may your HTA in be in good working order; and may your MHTA be at the ready…should that by any chance become necessary.
Full Spectrum Mama
*Veneer! I said veneer!