Most of the time, as a parent, and even a citizen of the world, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing.
I just move from moment to moment and hope I don't inflict any lasting damage to bodies or psyches.
But, from the important to the seemingly inconsequential, decisions must be made. Navigation charted. And though we see our destination, we rarely have a clear path. We can never really know with certainty which choice will affect which outcome.
I ebb and flow with and against convention.
I hate dance class. I've made no pretense of liking it, though I wish, for her sake, I could manage a better poker face.
I've been working on that.
But as often as I swallow my misgivings I also push my preferences.
We all carry our own experiences. Prejudices. Pride. It's the thing that makes rebellion so intoxicating. Every experience is unique to the one who experiences it.
I talked her out of Girl Scouts and into 4-H.
I plan on indexing flyers for pee-wee football in the revolving file.
I'm wondering if I can convince them Disneyland is really just a bowling alley in southern Maine. "Hey kids ... look ... It's Vacationland."
I'm hoping neither of my kids get tattooed, but I know I'll learn to accept their bodies with scribbles.
And yet, when The Champ came to me and said the only thing he wanted for his fird birfday was a skateboard, I barely hesitated. First things first: Helmet. Pads. Board. The three musketeers, all for one and one for all.
I'm not sure what possessed me: I just kept invoking the holy trinity: Helmet. Pads. Board.
And as he was working on balance, low and slow on the driveway, I quietly thanked the dogs and dogesses that I didn't have to sit in the bleachers at the little league field passively rooting against someone else's kid on an opposing team.
He's a year older, now, and still dragging his board out on the driveway from time to time.
He wanted to go with me (and bring his board) when he found out I was writing a story on skateparks.
But when he saw "the big kids" doing their thing ... he wanted to leave his board in the car and just watch.
Then he wanted to go home.