Nobody likes to be the parents of those bratty kids you see in public, at least we don’t like being the parent while they act that way. As a parent of one (or more) of those kids you see (and/or hear) whining and stomping and saying rude things I can assure you that we are in fact just as fed up as you are. We’re more fed up than you are, so there.
I’ve read every book about “spirited” or “strong willed” children I can put my hands on and I come away with a couple of things from all my research on the subject.
1) My strong willed children are either highly intelligent and capable of doing amazing, mind numbing things who will go on to rule the known universe or are solid miscreants who will end up in prison
2)both scenarios are a direct result of my parenting.
Ok, maybe there’s a happy middle in there. I’m willing to entertain that idea. I think I actually NEED to believe there is a happy middle in there somewhere.
It gets me to thinking though about how much my children are little reflections of me. I’m not sure that’s wise or healthy, I’m just saying that’s how it is right now. I might be going through a stage.
I heard a woman once say that “our children are not our fruits but our gifts…” meaning that our children are really not the “fruit of our labor” but rather that we have them for a time, for safekeeping, for nurturing…they were a gift and a gift, in my estimation that we have to release at some point as well.
Maybe it’s not all about me, after all. Maybe I’m not to blame, maybe I’m not to honor. Crap, I have a lot of work to do yet.
And now, right now…honestly, as I sit here and write about how hard it is to raise these little people I’m watching my youngest sitting on a chair at the table quietly eating blueberries one after another, he looks over to smile at me and it’s poetry. I can’t explain it in mere prose. I might be able to write a poem about the feeling that comes in this quiet moment between storms, perhaps.
The best metaphor I have is that this moment is a glass of water given to a marathon runner in the middle of the race. I didn’t know how thirsty I was until just now.