Sunday, March 8, 2009

My poor grandchildren..


par·ent·ing (pâr'ən-tĭng, pār'-) n. The rearing of a child or children, especially the care, love, and guidance given by a parent.

Now, one item left off of the definition of parenting is worry. The act or art of worrying about your spawn. I cringe now when I think of all the times I told my Mom not to worry because as a parent I know it is part of my job as a parent to do just that. I suppose in time and when my spawn have their own little tadpoles they will know what I am talking about. Honestly, I am really tired of being told not to worry and then what I fear most happens and the spawn are hurt or heartbroken. Why don't they just listen? I think that might just be the eternal question.

After your children are raised it is still the job of the parent (especially the mother) to continue parenting and my spawn think that I should just stop being a parent when they move out or turn 18. If only it were that easy. I know that I asked for and received guidance and love from my Mom until the very end. Even during that time, she worried about me and she was the one dying. That to me is a sign of a great parent. And if worrying makes you a great parent then I am at the pinnacle of parenthood because I worry all the time. I don't worry by choice, I worry because the spawn are young and gulliable and in their minds: invincible. I know better and by golly, if they aren't going to listen to their own Jiminy Crickett what other choice do I have but to worry and nag and worry some more.

Yes, I know they will all grow out of it. Eventually, they will all mature and hopefully make sound choices in their lives. But right now, not so much. So from their actions, both verbal and non, of the spawn this is how I should parent:

Let them think a trip to Michigan is a 'trip of a lifetime'. Paris is a trip of a lifetime, Michigan...not so much.

When they are sick, let them be sick, even after they have seen the doctor and refuse the medication he has prescribed. After all, the spawn have all been to medical school and also have years of fixing stuffy noses under their belts. Why listen to me, what do I know.

Ignore the fact that they have a special 'place' in their rooms for their school books. On the floor. At the foot of their bed. And you wonder why they can't find their homework? Homework, schomework.

Don't nag them to save money. Apparently it grows on trees, you know the tree: the Stafford Student Loan tree. You just go get you a loan and buy American Eagle underwear, new shoes and purses with it and life is good and you look hot until it is time to pay your dorm fees. The thought of saving the left-overs for your next quarter school fees is unheard of. The thought of having to pay your loan back in four years, pish-posh, four years is a lifetime away.

Even though the spawn have told you your advice was correct. Never offer it again, because even though they acknowledge you were right, they go and do the same thing over again in hopes of proving you wrong. Which never happens because I have experience on my side and they have youth, which is the Greek word for stupidity.

When your child throws a pity party because all their friends (who live at home with Mommy and Daddy because they have the sense to know they can't make it on their own yet) can go and buy AE underwear or go out and party, just don your party hat and send them a check. Because after all, your job as a parent is to enable your child's every wim and not to teach them to be responsible adults.

When your spawn gets into their 9th car accident in 2.5 years (I kid you not) don't worry about them dying on the streets or killing someone else. They know how to drive, they learned their lesson and are better drivers because of it, after all, this is the Mario Kart generation.

In essence, parents should be seen and not heard.

I'll try and remember that the next time one of the spawn does something stupid youthful and needs my help. And you can bet after the spawn have spawn of their own, they will call me with their own tales of parentdumb (sic). And I will nod and oh and ah and I will remind them that they did the same dang thing!



I know most if not all of my decisions don't make sense to you and you wish i didn't make certain ones that i have, but I fully believe that "everything happens for a reason", now of course some things could be avoidable, but it is true for most situations. I tell you not to worry because I dont want you to worry, even though I know you still will. I do learn A LOT of things the hard way, but I am honestly trying to work on that. Its hard to explain why this trip is so important to me, but I know as my parent and I very good one at that, that you will or will try to understand why it is. To you its not a trip of a lifetime, but for me, right now, it is. This is the first time in 2.5 years that I will not have work or school during spring break and the first time I will be away. So yes, I'm very excited. Sorry if i have caused you to worry far more than you should throughout my life.

I'm not commenting - my post says it all.

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