Friday, January 20, 2017

Just the Way You Are

This sign makes me sad. I think it's supposed to be sweet, but it makes me sad. 

I saw it on a walk through my neighborhood today. At first, I thought what a cute idea. Then I looked closer and saw that small children wrote their 2017 resolutions on this board. One says, "Stop sucking my thumb." The other says, "To focus better at school." And that makes me sad. 

I feel like knocking on my neighbor's door and saying, "Hey I sucked my thumb until I was driving and I hide chocolate bars in a small Igloo cooler in the pantry. I hide them from MYSELF!"  

But I totally get it. We want our kids to do better. "You can do better!" we say. I think it comes from a place of wanting better for them, wanting what we think we lack or didn't have or should've done differently. 

Now that Will is away at college, I'm thinking about all the things I wish I hadn't done as a parent. I think about what I put in his head with my "you can do better" prodding. 

Maybe, instead of worrying about the next thing and the next thing, I should've just sat in the grass and watched him play baseball. Or let him use every single dish in our home to bake his psychedelic, 7 different food coloring birthday cake with his friends. Or let him take hour long showers and run out all the hot water because at least I could hear him singing. Or not lose my shit when he forgot something again, because maybe what he forgot was never important to him or really even matters in the long run.

Will is an awesome kid. But I often think he is an awesome kid in spite of us. That our constant wanting better for him should've been, "You're pretty awesome just the way you are." Period. Mic drop.

1 comment:

  1. Beck - Don't beat yourself up. All your prodding did far more good than harm. Children need encouragement, and boundaries. And I'm glad the kids revealed their resolutions on a chalkboard instead of on social media.