Monday, April 21, 2008

Automatic pilot

flying her "kite", originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Parent is a verb.

That's what we like to think anyway.

We big people who, through the miracle of evolution (har), have grown from microscopic organisms to organisms that study our own spawn as if they are under a microscope.

Myself an offender of daily proportions with all these observations written down that will haunt them forever for posterity.

I like to think that I'm actively trying to raise kind-hearted, fearless children who will take calculated risks. Every so often I get a glimpse of my baby becoming a girl and I think she's really raising herself. I'm just here trying to make sure the sharp objects are pointing in a downward direction.

And yet she's not really raising herself; she's just getting ideas from the people she meets and the places she goes ... her grandparents, her teachers the babysitter's house, the playground. ...

"Mommy. You're not supposed to talk to strangers?"

"Why not?"

"You're not supposed to."

"Well our family talks to strangers. We may not believe a word they say, but we talk to strangers."

Still, I hold my breath every time she climbs the jungle gym or goes running in the parking lot. I yell and rail against the dangers of not holding my hand as we walk in crowded places. I harp at her to hold the handrail. I tell her to be careful ... of her fingers in the car door. ... near the blender ... while shutting the drawers of her dresser.

Eventually I will have to let go of her hand.

We might raise them afterall, but they are the ones who have to fly.

Eventually, I must accept my role as "verb" being over and settle into the role most young people see us in anyway - a noun. You know, like the furniture.


kittenpie said...

It's tough, that balance o9f teaching them what to watch out for without instilling too much fear. I do hope I manage to teach Pumpkinpie to take slightly more risks than I did, but not fly all out of control, either.

And I also wanted to come and say thank you for lending me your ears and voice and shoulder on my wrestling with the boy thing. I'm just so overwhelmed at how many people are being so nice, so helpful. So thanks for being one of them.

Don Mills Diva said...

What a gorgeous post - isn't that what parenting is all about - constantly finding a balance between keeping them safe and letting thme take risks?

Just discovered your blog BTW and it's wonderful!

Binky said...

You rebel, you. Journalists are supposed to frown upon using nouns as verbs. I like the way you fight the system. And I think you're on to something.