But the bigger picture is that my child has the right to go to school and not be bullied. He has the right to walk the hallways with someone shouting “retard” “faggot” “loser” at him, without people “accidentally” bumping into him. He has the right to sit in a classroom without someone rolling their eyes at him every time he speaks.
I hear people talk alll the time about kids now-a-days, though I am sure my parents’ generation said the same thing about us, and how they are rude, unhelpful, and reeking of self-entitlment. I always want to say, they are your kids too, who do you have to blame but yourself?
I happen to think that people need to chose their words carefully. To think about the consequences of those words. To think beyond their own personal validation. Are you willing to risk relationships with the words you chose to write? What matters more to you? And what if those relationships are with your children?
My bigger hope is that by parenting them with loving firmness that when they are adults we will be friends. That they will see the rationale behind my parenting. That they will know beyond all doubt that every thing I did was out of love.
Everything single thing.
I always liked Lent; I remember it being a time to have a redo of your New Year’s resolution. It was a time when you could choose to do something or sacrifice something for 40 days. And 40 days was a lot more appealing than 365 days. Even now as an adult I still use Lent as a time to reflect and maybe make some changes that will stick around after the 40 days are over.
Yet it is easy to get sucked in when you hear about what other parents are doing. It is easy to worry that you are putting your child at a disadvantage. But when thoughts like that invade my head I ask myself honestly, at a disadvantage for what? Winning another dust collecting trophy?
One of the most difficult things I have found about being a mother surprised me. It wasn’t the sleepless nights or the tantrums. It wasn’t the whining or the endless bickering. It wasn’t even the fights about going to bed and then the same fights about getting up in the morning. No, the most difficult thing about being a mother has been letting them go.
I remember when I was a child my grandmother had certain programs on television that she like to watch. She would go through the TV guide and write down everything she wanted to see that week. She referred to them as her “shows.” Then she would post the list on the front of her refrigerator with one of the many magnets that were used to hold photos of the grandkids. That was some dedicated TV watching there.
As we enter into the Thanksgiving holiday I think it is important to think about all of the things that we have in our lives for which we are thankful. You know aside from the obvious ones, friends, family, health…. What are the things make my life better on a daily basis.
My nearly man-sized child is sitting with me in the pediatrician’s office awaiting his physical. I look around at the harried new moms with the tiny babies strapped into carseats, the screaming toddlers jumping off of the wee chairs and the waiting room strewn with toys. Soon I won’t be bringing my son here anymore….