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Friday, November 21, 2008

Independent Munchkins

There is a brief time as a parent when you are a god to your children. The sun rises and sets on us because our children are completely dependent. Feels kinda nice.

It's a blessing to see our children become more independent but my heart contracts a little as they venture further and further from our arms. I try to keep in mind that it's my job as a parent to raise independent and responsible thinkers.

However proud I am of my children, I'm never completely prepared for the next step. Sometimes the next step seems like a leap into the abyss and sometimes they have reached the other side shockingly quick. It's an endless tug of war with my heart. Fortunately my husband rolls his eyes at me and supports the little munchkins to spread their wings and think for themselves.

The godlike adoration phase passes quickly, sometimes a little too quickly and we never know the direction their growing awareness will travel.

Years ago, when my oldest was in grade one I was helping him with homework. He asked me yet again, "What is the answer?"

My reply was a consistent and thoughtful "Hmmm, I don't know. What do you think?"

After weeks of this and yet another evasive reply my son turned to me. His eyes were full of a mix of adoration and pity as he politely stated....

"Mom, you're really nice but you're not very smart."

Oh.

4 comments:

emma said...

Yeah, it's a fine line, "helping" the kids with their homework. Of course, "helping" then with teenage problems is no piece of cake either!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Of course, what you have not described was that the specifically selected reply was deliberately leading your son to think for himself, think of alternatives and work through solutions that would fit the puzzle.

A very clever camuflage used to leverage your amazing talents to allow your son to develop his ... rather than grow in the shadow of your tremendous knowledge & wit.

Great move !!

:O )

BC said...

Hey anonymous, you sound a lot like a very supportive husband I know!

La Petite Pâtissière said...

this is the cutest story ever!! i can completely relate - my son is 4 and i am reveling in the "adoration" stage - and i'm terrified as to when he doesn't "need" me as much...although i also feel firmly that my job as a parent is to raise him to be an independent, self-sufficient individual. your son sounds like a smart little cookie - and very funny!! :)