I've learned something very important over the last 6 years.
I don't like other parents.
Ok, let me clarify. I have lots of wonderful friends that are parents - these parents I like. There are lots of other parents that I can readily identify with or feel at ease with - these parents I like.
It's the rest of them: the prima-donna-mom's that force their crying girls into the dance studio because "she will dance and she will like it!"; the parents that do all of their preschooler's 'child led' project without the child's input; the dads that coach little league like it's make or break for their son's future in MLB; the parents that decide the teacher is unreasonable because she didn't want 80 bottle of bubbles coming in for "Spring Fling"; the parents that are peeved the preschool is not "academic" enough; and the ones that wonder what in the world they'll do to amuse their children if they can't quickly find some sort of extracurricular activity - every day of the week. Yes. THESE are the parents that make me cranky.
Instead of launching the giant tirade loaded with specific examples that I had been winding up too, let me ask you this. When is it that our kids get to be kids? When do they get to just sit and play? When do they get to explore the world and learn by experience? When do they get to do the things *they* want to do and build the life they want - not the one you missed?
Yet it's even bigger than that, isn't it? Why do we remove the biggest teacher of all from our children's lives? What's wrong with learning by falling? We do a great disservice to our children when we hand them the world on a platter - when we make it 'easy.' I'm not suggesting strife. I'm saying we all need to learn to get knocked down again so we can figure out how it is one goes about getting back up. It's not an easy thing to watch your child go through, and yet it's a gift that we can give them. That chance to learn they ARE not perfect but they are resilient. It's the one that says they aren't good at everything, but they are great at the most important things:
- Being loved
- Giving love
- Having the courage to go out on that limb
- Having the fortitude to try again and again
The more I grow into these parenting britches, the more soap boxes I find calling me. At times it seems that there are just too many when in truth they are stepping stones to the same box.
Young minds are sponges - but they absorb best when they're allowed to expand through age appropriate leaning opportunities and in directions they're most interested in going.
You had your childhood. You ran that leg of the race. Your job now is not to carry your children on your back as they toe the starting line Your job is to be the cheerleader holding out the cup of water for them as they run their race.