“Academically gifted, a creative with flair”
I listen intently stock still on the chair.
“Mature model student, balanced & behaved”
Each adjective hits me, does he ever misbehave?
“I guess you’ve heard this before? He’s an amazing kid”
Worried I’m not smiling enough I perk up a bit.
“Thank so much, for seeing me today, is there is anything I can do to help him In some way?
I’m at a bit of a loss and don’t have the tools”
“What can I do sir, I feel like a fool”
Have you ever heard these sayings?
“Easy baby, Difficult toddler” or “Perfect child, Tear-away teen”
Utterances from mothering groups created to make you feel better (or worse) about your current situation. The lists and pairings go on and on and although I try to take them with a pinch of salt, as a parent they scare the hell out of me.
When is this bubble with my eldest child going to burst? What can I do to ease it? Will, it even burst… or maybe just slowly dissolve as puberty seeps in? Yes, it seems like a small ‘yawn worthy’ issue to be anxious about helping someone who’s doing amazing… but it’s my job as a mother to provide him with the tools he needs to be the best version of himself and right now I’m worried.
I’m trying to focus on what I can do to help him navigate these impending teenage years, even if he’s surpassed me hand holding him academically, I must concentrate on what I can do to nuture him in other ways, ways you can’t take a formal test for.
I read a fantastic quote the other day…
My only goal as a mother is to raise children that dont have to recover from their childhoods.
Growing up the youngest, I watched my own mother face a similar parenting dilemma. My eldest sister was a model child and in her teenage years, she turned into a rebel without a cause, chopped her hair off and spent most of her summers in Ibiza wearing high heeled jelly shoes and working in bars. My other sister was not massively naughty but definitely a spirited child. However, during her teenage years, she received college scholarships, went on missions to Africa, played in national orchestras and studied overseas. The list could on.
What can this quote and my mother’s experience teach me?
- I need to prepare my children with the tools to handle different paths not to try to force their footsteps into paths i think they should take for fear of failing them if I don’t.
- To take some peace in the knowledge that if I have prepared them well enough, no matter what happens on their journey into adulthood they’ll figure it all out.
- No matter which way around the ‘saying’ goes now, (model child, terrible teen) maybe the bubble won’t burst? Maybe it will just bob off into the sunset and make someone smile
7 May 2020