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Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Unbeaten Path

Our children are seen and VERY heard. In fact, they are loud. And no matter how much we might want to pull our hair out, spanking or any physical punishment is by no means an option.

We’re a different breed of parents. We’ve morphed from the “Obey your mother and father” doctrine and found a new unbeaten path. We might find it a little muddy sometimes, but we don’t look back. We grew up in homes where democracy was laughed at. It was a dictatorship, with a parent as the leader. We didn’t question, we didn’t express our opinions, rather we saved it for a time when we were “rebellious teens,” our parents found they couldn’t control us and we finally found our voice.

We had our babies and we looked at them with humility. We saw them as precious beings, new here, but old in spirit, we saw them as knowledgeable, as wise, and we saw an opportunity for us to learn from them how to love and live simply. We wanted to see the world with their wonder.

 We don’t want to crush them. We don’t ask them to conform to what others think is the right way. We don’t ask them what they want to do when they grow up, as we’ve decided they can be and do everything and anything. Our boys can wear dresses and paint their rooms pink, our girls can too... or they can shave their heads, skateboard, and paint their rooms blue. We’ve gotten rid of stereotypes, and have-tos.  We want to enjoy our time with our kids as it seems to go so quickly.

Yet, yes there are days that the noise and commotion can have us more dazed than a stun gun. We love the idea of a team, a family unit, working together for a common good, but our children often don’t understand the philosophy. When being born into an unrestricted environment, where rules are limited and fun encouraged, its understandable why chaos can sometimes be the result and yet we plod on, sure that it can’t be that far left to have just a happy go lucky family who gets along.

They aren’t always the serene angels that we held in our arms that first day. They decide they like to play rough and can karate chop as if they are reincarnations of Bruce Lee, even though we’ve never exposed them to it. They talk back to us, and make us feel silly, knowing just how to expose our insecurities and yet they don’t mean it, just speaking their mind. You know, like we weren’t suppose to. We see it as rebellion or bad behavior, but remind ourselves to wait for it to pass. Things pass through stages... right. It’s not about control we spit through our clenched teeth.

We lose it sometimes. We feel guilty when we raise our voice, yet wonder if the power struggle still exists, as our children can shout without remorse. We encourage communication, we talk about feelings. We remember watching Mr. Rogers and tip our hats off to him for making it look so easy.
But we know who they are. They aren’t little devils as our parents might think, they are explorers and adventurers. They bring us wild weed bouquets and tell us it will all be alright when they see us stressed. They give chubby arm hugs and tell us we’re the best in the world. They aren’t filled with anger. They aren’t brats. They are living in a playful moment, which sometimes goes wrong. It is a life of learning.
But then our children grow. They grow and as they grow they get interested in new things. Suddenly it’s not about running around wildly, tracking mud through the house and catching ladybugs as pets. We find ourselves with a moment, when remarkably everyone is in their own beds, reading to themselves or playing quietly, dreaming their own dreams. We find ourselves peeking into their rooms to see them happy and content, or spying on them while they are with friends seeing them take part in the world with a sense of self confidence and clarity like we never had.

And then it happens. They friend us on Facebook, they come in to chat about whatever is on their mind. We are their confidant, their friend and their sound box. We listen and suggest, antidote our own mistakes and support them through theirs. We see them as a friend. We request help for a happy home, which they agree to, because they know the concept of a team effort for a common goal.

It’s an unbeaten path, without a map or guide book. It has no guide for one main reason. We knew it the first time we looked into their eyes. We are each our own individual selves and our children are their own selves too. We, like any relationship, are people who are on the journey of life together. Therefore, our journey, together, is the unmarked territory, that we get to discover, together.

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