Shaping at the Margins- written 2020
Every now and then I reflect on my own parenting decisions. By every now and then, I mean on average 259 times a day. I suppose that might make me seem somewhat uneasy about parenting. Let it be then. I am uneasy.
When I look at my boys I have a heart full of love and I see boundless potential. But the thing is, I have always felt in a way that I need to guide them down the best path to that potential. Well what happens when I want to free myself from expectations? What happens when they are who they are and I want to appreciate that? Case study number one: our spirited five year old.
Ideally, I would like him to wash his face daily, change his clothes, take a bath. lift the toilet seat, practice his music. I consider myself to be a responsible mom and these are her ideals. These are things a responsible mom would want.
So when he comes to me with a look that suggests he is up to no good, from a dirty bathroom, minus the bath, with jelly on his face, wearing my shirt buttoned incorrectly, I don’t know why I just melt!
I am sure I should be correcting, guiding. But instead I can’t help but marvel at his independence and his appreciation of tricky tricks. And then sometimes I think, he has won the game.
What exactly is the game?
Is it to show who is in control? To show that one can’t actually BE controlled?
Or is it to love with all your heart and be proud of these special people and all the twists and turns that life’s own path brings?
It is not so much the influence that counts for them, I am starting to think, but rather the nurturing.
If the boys always know their parents love them, are unendingly proud of them and that they are the brightest light in their parents’ eyes, then we have done the most important of our jobs.
The rest is putting them in the right light, giving the nutrients and just watching them grow, shaping at the margins.
It’s a hard job, but it’s the best one I could have ever imagined.
Speaking of bright lights, UV exposure increases with altitude. If you work or play at big heights, make sure you wear sun protection and get a skin check. Risk for melanoma snd other skin cancer goes up with UV exposure.
Dr. Laura Dr. Swae