Friday, September 06, 2013

Take the Thick with the Thin

As my children play outside and I am practicing my sometimes "Lord of the Flies" parenting approach, I think about what they will say in their (inevitable) future therapy sessions. I wonder what kind of label I will get from the psych---- with whom they are conversing. Usually when I think about my parenting, I revel in the high moments: the hikes, the frog hunting, the cooking together, painting, walking, learning about the world by doing...but these will most likely not be the themes explored in their therapy. No. Their therapy will focus on my shortcomings, of which there are many.

They will talk about how I was "hands-off" in my parenting. They will forget that this gave them independence and a sense that they were trusted and expected to make strong decisions, and the will focus on abandonment.

They will say I was critical of them. That I made them change their outfits that blaringly didn't match. They will not know that this was more a criticism and distrust of mean gradeschool kids.

They may say I kicked them outside when I didn't want them bugging me. What they won't remember is that I kicked them outside when their energy levels were imploding and they were on hour two of couch wrestling and it was apparent they needed to let outside to run like puppies.

They may say I forced playdates on them when they just wanted to sit around and watch TV. They will not know how deeply I feared them not having a best friend relationship and how much I longed for that for them. So much that I invited every potential opportunity to meet kids their own age up to our house. Maybe this one will become her bestie? Maybe this one can match his energy levels?

They'll claim I dragged them to church. The flea market. Concerts in parks. Friends' houses. Parties. Hikes. Parks. But all these things were meant to teach through experience and help them learn by doing and interacting and engaging with the world.

They may say I was always buried in my world of work, computer, iPhone and the like. And they will probably be right. I do take my "me" time and I do keep my own interests. For I believe that a parent has to "put his or her own oxygen mask on prior to being able to help anyone else."

They may remember me taking selfies all the time. I struggle to turn this one into a positive...but maybe, just maybe they will come to believe that their mother loved herself and photography. When there were no subjects around, she would use herself...or her kids...which is another thing they may disdain. There was often a camera lens, or iPhone peering into their souls trying to capture that which the momma sees in them and loves in them. I really hope they will see that I just wanted to collect and save every sweet moment with them.

No comments: