Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Things We Do

Ahhh, the things we do to our first-born children.  When I went in to see my OB/GYN after I took a pregnancy test with my second child, the doctor sat down and said, "Go home and apologize to your first born every day."  But why?  "Because of all of the ways that you will mess him up."  

What?  Mess him up?  Oh, heavens no!!  I prayed, fussed, cried, had panic attacks over my first pregnancy.  I wanted him more than anything in the world.  How would I mess him up?  You should see the pictures of him on my computer...I'm pretty sure I'm running out of memory just on his pictures alone.  He WILL be perfect!  So perfect that he will be messed up?  So perfect that I will not ever leave him alone to discover his world on his own?  So perfect that I won't know when to stop worrying about him?  Yes, that perfect!

helicopter parentn. - they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach, whether their children need them or not.

Oh, no.  I've heard the term helicopter parent. I've also heard some others...a curling mother - mothers who attempt to sweep all obstacles out of the paths of their children...lawnmower parents - mothers and fathers who attempt to smooth out and mow down all obstacles, to the extent that they may even attempt to interfere at their children's workplaces, regarding salaries and promotions, after they have graduated from college and are supposedly living on their own...Black Hawk parents - has been coined for those who cross the line from a mere excess of zeal to unethical behavior, such as writing their children's college admission essays.

It can't be me.  I am a laid-back parent.  I am constantly told that I'm as easy-going as they come.  Aren't I?  Sure, if we are out having dinner together and having a glass of wine and my kids are nowhere in sight, I'm very laid back.  But, when it comes to my first-born, I am wound up tighter than a tick.  I won't even give you examples as an attempt to save myself from embarrassment.

Why do we do this, though?  I know that I want the best for all of my children.  I am hopeful for all of their bright futures.  But, I can't seem to help myself to push my first born more.  I want him to follow all the rules in school, while also learning all that he can.  I find myself already talking to him about post-college degrees that he might like.  He might like?  Let's be honest...the post-college degrees are what we (the committee and I) might like.  But, do I do this to my third and fourth born?  Oh, no!  I just enjoy watching them be who they are and frolic throughout their days.

Even I can see the disparities.  I am able to evaluate that this is not fair to One-of-a-Kind.  Maybe that's the problem...I think he is one-of-a-kind, which he is...no doubt.  And maybe, that is what my Father feels for me.  That I am one-of-a-kind, and He wants the best for me.  Would He be my helicopter parent?  Does He want to plan out my days so that I don't have a chance to fail?

Rather than being that helicopter parent, He allows me to move down my path making my own choices and falling into pitfalls along the way, all along hoping for the best for me.  I am able to glide over peaks and valleys sometimes with ease and other times with sweat and blood, throwing my burdens and worries His way.  You see, this is a life that I have been given by Him, for Him, and with Him. 

So, today, I'm going to take a page out of God's playbook.  I'm going to take a step back and let One-of-a-Kind live his life for Him and with Him all the while moving gracefully to the side watching what transpires.  I will move out of the airspace above, stop hovering over him needlessly.  I will cease my worrying as it says in ...Matthew 6:34 ~ "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." 

But, I will NEVER stop wanting the best for my boys.  You see, isn't it natural to want more for our children than I am?  Shouldn't I hope to strengthen my shoulders for my boys to stand upon?  One-of-a-Kind is a product of me and my husband, and he has been entrusted to us.  He should be given the space to thrive in his own way without having me interfere in every tiny detail, just as God allows me the space to wander and discover with gentle nudges here and there.  Oh my!  That is so much easier to write than to do I am sure, but I'll give it my best, because that is what He deserves!

1 comment:

Traci said...

Morgan, you are so dead on!!! Why do we do this to our first born?! Poor Reagan, I am sooooo hard on her. I would like to think I am a laid back parent as well but something about that first born just makes me so hard nosed. You would think we would ease up with the birth of more children but it never seems to change. So I too will make an effort to "ease up". Good luck on your efforts too.