Role Models

The other night at the iHeartRadio concert, Billie Joe Armstrong (lead singer of Green Day), freaked out on stage when he saw that he had one minute left. It was a throwback tantrum of guitar smashing, expletives and an “I am a Rock God” type ego outburst. Following this yawn worthy tirade that we’ve seen time and time again by inflated stars, he checked into rehab and the band issued an apology. Same old story. And by old, I mean, give it a rest dudes, aren’t you grandpas by now? (don’t get me wrong, I jump at a chance to see the Stones, this is no ageist rant on my part).
My husband and I got into a heated debate that ended in an agree to disagree truce. He thought Billie Joe’s anger was merited and that he’s a rocker and that’s what they do. I agree, that used to be typical behavior and was almost commonplace back in the day, but today with social media broadcasting every waking moment for each twelve year old with a computer or phone or iPod Touch, this is inappropriate. I think it’s irresponsible to throw a fit and then think you can get off the hook by saying sorry and going to rehab (please note, I hope that if he indeed has a drug or alcohol problem, he gets help. I just think the timing of all of this is a little fishy when they have a new record coming out and had barely been on anyone’s radar for some time. A little drama does a lot for sales). My husband thinks it’s not Armstrong’s responsibility to be a mentor to the young fans out there. He’s a rocker, he can act like that. Kids are smart enough to know that they shouldn’t be looking to these guys for life lessons on how to behave. I disagree.
This all lead me to examine the role models that my girls have. Who do they want to emulate, even at this young age? So far, I can almost control it, but my handle on this is slipping fast. You’d think Tinkerbell would be great, right? Have you seen the ‘tude on that blonde chick? I said “excuse me” to my big girl recently. Her response: “No! Excuuuuuse ME!”. Ummm what? I heard the same intonation next time we watched Tinkerbell and the light over my head went off. Even Disney movies aren’t sweet and innocent anymore.
So where do the parents of this generation turn for positive role models? The mirror. I realize more than ever, I am, and will continue to be, the most influential role model for my kids. That is a scary, daunting and exhausting realization. Of course, I’ve always known that’s my responsibility, but upon further examination of outside sources, I feel I need to do more than step up to the plate. I am trying so hard to watch my tone, watch my language, watch my non-verbal cues so that when I look at my girls I can honestly say, “does mommy speak like that to you?”. Sure I lose my patience and totally flip sometimes, I’m only human.
I’m anxious to see what my behavior is like on painkillers. When I had my rhinoplasty (such a perfectly descriptive medical way to say fix my honking schnoz), I didn’t take any narcotics. This time, I will be thoroughly doped and I hope I’m not a babbling idiot. I hope I’m with it enough to interact with my girls in a way that doesn’t scare them or make them anxious about how different Mommy is. I hope I don’t have some intoxicated rage that causes me to lose my mind like Billie Joe in front of my own kids like he did in front of everyone else’s kids. I’m not a rock ‘n roll star, but I would like my kids to think of me as some kind of rockstar, during my recovery and always.

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