Chacos column: If little Donny had a progressive mom
Let’s get in the Delorean and power up the flux capacitor. Someone has to go back in time and be Donald Trump’s mother so we can help divert the train wreck we’re living today. The universe could use a good trajectory shift by having Donald learn some crucial life lessons he must have flunked the first time around.
For starters, if I had to be little Donald’s mom, I would grab him by the hand and march him straight back to kindergarten kicking and screaming. He would have to stand in line, wait his turn and share his crayons. He would be knee deep in a warm, responsive environment and learn some valuable skills that only come from handing him off to a skilled classroom teacher and then waving goodbye.
Next, as Donald’s mom, I would have him ride that big, dirty, yellow, social-stress vehicle to and from school every day. I imagine Donald blubbering, begging me to drive him instead, but I wouldn’t. He would have to walk in rain, snow or wind to the nearest bus stop and patiently wait like every other typical kid his age. Donald would bounce around town building armor while getting hit with incessant verbal darts, tolerating an irrational bus driver and figuring out how to win over the bully on the bus.
A few years later, I envision an older Donald getting into scuffles on the school playground with some other kids in his class. As Donald’s mom, I would have to muster all of my inner strength and self-control not to helicopter right to the principal’s office demanding better supervision and a stronger anti-bullying policy. I would not interfere, though, because my middle-school monster would need to cultivate a shred of moral fiber and learn to navigate the adversity that is inherent on middle school campuses across the nation.
My strength sapped, I would be tempted to send Donald off to a military-like boarding school that could whip him into shape. Instead, I would pile on the household chores and make him clean his own toilet from now on. No doubt, Donald would need to get his hands dirty. Really dirty.
In high school, Donald’s days would be filled with bruised egos, machismo, gossip, new vocabulary and sexual undertones. Reflecting on my own youth, I would remember that kids this age are volatile, and if not careful, one can be barraged with an array of uncontrollable, attitude-filled emotions. My own teenager would need unwavering support, love, firm compassion, gentle guidance and careful “calculation” on my part for his teen years to be considered a success.
To further build Donald’s character and reduce some unsavory, after-school behavior, I would encourage him to work during high school. A job folding laundry, walking dogs or cleaning dishes at the local diner would be ideal, but I wouldn’t want my baby developing debilitating bone spurs. So I’d have no choice but to set Donald up with a seated job filing papers with a sassy secretary. Donald would be taught a few things about appropriate behavior in the workplace. I’d make sure of that.
After high school graduation, a young Donald would naturally want to flee his childhood home after years of being parented by a loving yet overbearing, “smother.” I would encourage Donald to forge his own path, but being brutally honest, I would point out that he does not have any real money of his own. Realistically, Donald would still need to rely on the guidance from the adults around him, so I’d send him off to college. I would call this maternal calculation.
I would carve out some time with Donald and have him share his goals and plans with me. I would explain that whatever he decides, he will most likely have an impact on the climate, the people, and the world around him. Donald would need to be told that his actions hold power and that his magnetic personality should be used to bring people together, not pull them apart.
I expect that parenting Donald would be harder now that he’s an adult, but I’d hope he picked up a few things along the way. If not, I’d march right into that Oval Office, grab Donald by the ear, and drag him out kicking and screaming.
If all else fails, I could drive my Delorean back to that fateful night in September 1945 and just say, “No.”
Andrea Chacos lives in Carbondale, balancing work and happily raising three children with her husband. She strives to dodge curveballs life likes to throw with a bit of passion, humor and some flair. Andrea can be reached at http://www.andreachacos.com.
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