Monday, August 1, 2011

Things I want to teach my children

I honestly can’t believe it’s August 1st. Where is the time going? What the heck happened to July? Partly, I’m sure, it’s the weather’s fault. Seriously, it was 26°C (78.8°F) outside yesterday afternoon and it felt hot, that’s how cool it’s been lately, so no wonder it doesn’t feel like summer’s halfway over, it practically hasn’t even started yet. Anyway, since we must base ourselves on the calendar, it is once again time for me to impart some wisdom to my kids. So here we go, this time I only have one piece of advice for each child, based on their personalities.

For the Girl:

Life doesn’t always need to be so dramatic. I understand that sometimes your feelings are so big that you need to physically display them to release some of the tension, but seriously, can’t we just agree that I do things for your own good and not out of spite or meanness. For example, if I tell you that no, you can’t climb up on the table via the chair and do a little jig up there it’s because it’s dangerous and you don’t need to flop to the ground with your hands on your face wailing. Or even more simply, when I decide that bath time is over because you’re so pruney you look like a shriveled up old lady and I go to pick you up, you don’t need to start crying like I just killed your lovey and go all jelly-legs and jelly-arms on me because the likelihood that I accidently drop you is very high.

A little drama is good, it makes life more exciting and keeps those around you on their toes. I’m sure we can channel your penchant for the dramatic into something productive and not annoying to me, like a career in the arts?

For the Boy:

Some things are scary, I know they are, but if you don’t try them how will you know what you can do? When we come up against something new I see you, looking, taking your measure, sussing things out. Sometimes you really want to do something but you don’t, because you’re scared. I get it, doing new things is difficult, I promise, I get it. What I really want you to learn is that trying something new that you really want to do and failing, is infinitely, undeniably better than not trying at all. Especially since the likelihood of failure is very, very small. There are a lot of new things still to come in your life, and I will hold your hand, go with you, encourage you, and push you for as long as I can, but I want you to learn to take that first step on your own. I want you to always take the first step because I see the joy on your face every time we’ve done something new and conquered it.

I want to teach you that not trying something new, that not taking that first step is not an option, and that there’s no shame in failure if you’ve tried.

Every month when I take a moment to think about this post and what to write I realize that being a parent is hard, but being the kind of parent we want to be is even harder.


  1. You should definitely journal this, or maybe print out your blog sometime, so your kids can read these words when they're older! Your daughter will get a kick out of it, at least! :0) My son does the jelly body thing too. ALL THE TIME. So annoying! But gotta love em for trying!

  2. I think your little drama queen might want to consider enrolling in the Princess' school of dramatic acting. Because while that all sounds very promising, it's nothing compared to throwing yourself on the ground and weeping giant, salty tears because a napkin fell off the table and --get this--landed on your head...