I try to be the best darn mother I possibly can and by that I mean treating my kids like little people whose opinions and thoughts I value and appreciate (even if it’s just lip service because clearly I am not going to paint my house pink and purple or buy every action figure on TV). I do my best not to stand over them and wag my finger and lament that if I step on one more piece of Lego I’m going to take the entire box and chuck it out the front door. I will sit on the couch with my daughter and listen to her wax poetically about the virtues of the latest episode of Good Luck Charlie and encourage them (yes I encourage them) to hop on my back and take piggy -back rides.
Not that I don’t have my moments, believe me there are plenty of those when I feel as though, if my son asks me when his macaroni and cheese dinner will be ready for the eighth time, despite the fact that the water has just begun to boil, like a cartoon character my forehead will literally take flight from the rest of my face and plumes of steam will start to jut out of my open skull. In fact there are many of those moments when patience seems to evade me.
Yet I am also extremely cognizant of the fact that our lives on this planet are so incredibly short, every minute spent with my kids is a gift and that childhood is all about letting them well, be kids. Not that I worked on a chain gang at the tender age of five- but I feel like my childhood was spent worrying most of the time about being good and pleasing my parents (hmm that might account for that LONG period of rebellion that stretched from the age of 12 to 25!). I want my kids to relish in the pursuits of their carefree youthful existence- the kind that can only be truly enjoyed when you are a kid- because you’re still so very pure and haven’t bee tainted by life’s infinite disappointments and realities. I am committed to letting them spend hours doing nothing except for scribbling, playing video games and yes getting into trouble (they’ve got plenty of years ahead of them filled with hard labor, paying their bills and experiencing existential crises).
And so I am trying to engage in more spontaneous moments like eating ice cream for breakfast (okay we’ve only done that a handful of times- no need to report me to Department of Child Welfare just yet) and yes tackling some pursuits that I know once they grow up- they’ll be living too much inside their thoughts to take a stab at it. I have even AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT allowed my son to play withâ€¦PLAYDOH I know oh the HUMANITY of itâ€¦ all those hardened up particles embedded deep into crevices throughout my house. And as an adult- participating in these events with my kids- well it’s a little bit like reclaiming my childhood and yes maybe even living a bit vicariously through themâ€¦