Adventures in Parenting: Dignity is Overrated
I once read that children are like little Zen masters who push at our most fixed ideas, forcing us to grow as individuals by confronting who we really are. I prefer to think of it this way; when God gives you the incredible gift of children, He also gets a good laugh at your expense, knowing full well that you will learn a thing or two. I believe it is best to keep an open mind, laugh right along, and enjoy the ride.
Take dignity for example. I have come to the conclusion that it is highly over rated. Before I became a mom, people would have referred to me as “dignified”, “reserved”, “boring” or perhaps “stick in the mud”. And mind you, these were my friends.
Not long ago I went to a playground with Adorable Daughter #1. As soon as we got there, she exclaimed, “Come on Mom, let’s play!” Hoping that she will have some childhood memories in addition to the 47,562 times I tell her to “WALK”, “eat your vegetables” or “brush your teeth”, I ran after her toward the jungle gym. We climbed the ladder, crawled through one of those giant hamster tunnels, and slid down the slide. About the time I was half way through the giant hamster tunnel; I couldn’t help but think,
“Should an un-athletic woman who is inching toward middle age with alarming speed be crawling on her hands and knees inside one of these things?”
“I should have checked the maximum weight capacity.”
“I don’t see any of the other adults doing this.”
About that time I heard Adorable Daughter #1 calling out, “Come on Mom! Let’s go down the slide!” I scampered to the end of the tunnel and poked my head out. She was grinning from ear to ear, her beautiful black curls flying in the wind. We plopped on to the slide together and yelled “Whee!” all the way down.
Too soon, my adorable daughters will decide that silly behavior is… well, silly. Not long after that, adolescence will arrive and they will walk into the bathroom to do their hair not to emerge for five or six years. I can only hope that by that point I will have planted the seeds so that as they grow they will value education, have a strong work ethic, and make good choices about friends and boyfriends, knowing that I will always be there to support them.
Until those fateful days arrive, we’re going to have some fun.
The other day I was walking down the sidewalk with Adorable Daughter #1 by my side and Adorable Daughter #2 in her stroller. As it started to sprinkle, we began to sing “If all of the rain drops were lemon drops and lollipops”. When we got to the part where we were sticking our tongues out and singing “aahh aahh aahh aahh aahh aahh”, I noticed a couple smiling at us. I smiled back and kept singing.
Liz Possible is a Writer and Single Mom Extraordinaire. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. “Possible” is her attitude, not her legal name — but then you knew that.
Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/LizPossible1 and at her blog, https://lizpossible50singleandlovinglife.wordpress.com.