On the bus ride home today I had a moment where I heard myself slip into that overprotective mom role – recoiling at the micromanagement of my children’s postures on the bus.
“Sit down on your bum. No. We’re coming up to I-5. It’s busy. Cars drive fast. No. If you can’t sit down then I will have to have you sit on my lap. Hold your sister’s hand….”
It was incessant chatter. Nagging. If it was irritating me then it was irritating at least one other person on the bus, not to mention my dearies who are with me 24/7. Ugh.
I have read all the parenting books. I know the goal is to say “Yes” as often as possible. Give my children the opportunities to explore and learn through hands on experiences while guiding them away from obvious dangers. I don’t want to dampen anyone’s spirit and I treasure my children’s unique curiosities. But it’s the ultimate challenge to be mindful of my children’s need to exercise their will, take new steps into unfamiliar territory, and also make sure they are being respectful to others and staying safe.
I believe in failures. In the falls and bruises that teach one to move slower or with more coordination. And yet with two children, it feels like I am constantly refereeing play to curb snatching, pushing, and dangerous maneuvers. In the core of me, I know I have to let go of the worry and my need to control so much of my day. My children are sweet and energetic, but I don’t want them to grow up feeling constantly suppressed.