Last night as my son walked off the coach bus, after a week away for his first ever sleep away camp experience well to say I instantly morphed into a hot mess would be an understatement. I'm not sure if it was finally seeing his face after seven days of missing him and simultaneously thinking–“My goodness he is not my little boy”. It's not like this revelation hit me just yesterday (as my mascara stained cheeks would have you believing) I guess it was just a physical manifestation of how much he has grown and how convicted he is in his pursuits- done with no help from me, that made me realize, that he is his own force, he is his own person and he is no longer a mini extension of me (not that he ever really was but I digress.)
And this year he has said to me that ( just like his 15 year old sister) I now need his approval before posting any pictures of him on any social platform ( and if I do not abide by these rules he will erase any said pictures). And of course I have to respect both of their wishes– I have to treat them both with the same reverence I want to be treated with- but that is something that has always been a constant in our relationship- a mutual respect for one another.
While my son and I share many of the same qualities My daughter and I CANNOT BE MORE DIFFERENT. The funny part is that I thought having a daughter would magically imbue me with a tiny person who mirrored my every action and was essentially my doppleganger in mini form. And my daughter has proven to be none of these things. She is more a mini version of my husband than of me.
Unlike me- my daughter is very pensive- and not at all impulsive. While she is a really happy and good kid- she doesn't wear her feelings on her sleeve (like I do) and I always tell her she needs to learn to play poker. She is a runner- I am a runner who developed horrible varicose veins which abruptly put an end to my short-lived running distance career. I truly could go on and on– but Like I mentioned- my daughter is FIERCELY private and so- in order to blog about her- I'd have to first get written permission to do so… But I can talk about my experiences as a parent and the 5 things I've learned since taking up this post…
#1 Children are not on this earth to be extensions of their parents ( the sooner you can swallow this fact the better off you and your kid will be.)
#2 Children have their own distinct personalities that parents might not always like or agree with- but irregardless our kids DESERVE our respect.
#3 Children don't always know what is best for them and as a parent it is OKAY if they don't like you. You need to remember that you are FIRST a parent and second a friend.
#4 children need to be listened to. Whether or not it sounds like drivel– as parents if you listen to the small things– then they will come to you with the BIG THINGS.
#5 children need you to believe in them. Even if they have dreams that seem unattainable, your belief in them will help them to build the kind of self confidence they need to conquer any challenge set before them.
So what has parenting taught you about this monumental experience of raising a human being?