Category Archives: I was wrong.

1979

I really want to apologize to my kids. I fucked up and completely miscalculated. Not a big surprise, knowing how much I suck at math and science. I totally meant to raise them in 1979, not 2015. When I thought about having kids, I thought about them growing up riding their bikes without a helmet, playing kickball or hide and seek, whenever and wherever, without fear of someone texting and driving or having an opinion about them not wearing a helmet and having a bottle of water within arm’s reach. I assumed they would play with their friends, not their friends and their parents who would micromanage every argument or move they made. I thought they would learn to fight their own battles among other children and learn how one minute they could be so pissed at their best friend and how unconditional love worked when they forgot all about it 15 minutes later. I planned on letting them spend their free time running off to the park or wherever they wanted to go, just knowing to be home by dinner. In my miscalculation, I now need to be the one to coordinate a scheduled ‘play date’ for a specified amount of time with proper supervision. My children don’t need to be concerned with such responsibilities as using a phone to call a friend and ask them to play, risk hearing “no”, or letting their creativity and natural sense of wonder drive the events of the day. It’s still important though, so in 2015, I have vetted and arranged time for them to ‘be creative’ and ‘curious’ every Tuesday afternoon in a class I found. I will drive them, pay for it, watch from the waiting gallery to supervise. I will ensure that they are doing it right and not being too curious, not making it uncomfortable for others or deviating too far from the assigned curriculum. We will then drive home and I will give them my assessment of their experience.

How in the hell did this happen? How did we advance in so many ways as a society in the last 36 years and yet, as a parent, I’ve completely retreated into control and fear in my attempt to raise them? You see, these young ones in 2015 are believed to be too immature to be trusted with such things as self-control, responsibility, having instincts, and natural consequences. I don’t know if there is any hard data to support this, but our collective fear has made this our new way of raising kids. Had I raised them in 1979, they would have had a chance to just learn these things, without my interference. In 1979, children were automatically ‘free-range’, but in 2015, I can get arrested for adopting this belief, so instead we are stuck together. I want them to have freedom and to grow and develop as they will, but I don’t know how to let go when I’m sitting right there. I watch them grow with eyes that have seen too much. In 1979, I wouldn’t have to supervise every step of their growth and development. Instead, I would ask about their day at dinner and I would listen to their experiences and you know what? I would be really interested and I would want to hear everything. But here in 2015, I am always right there experiencing it with them, so not only do they not have the freedom to figure it all out, but I don’t even have a chance to be curious about what they think or what they’ve experienced.

In 1979, I was 8. I went to day camp on a bus over the summer, I called friends to make plans, told (not asked) my mom that I would back later, played a little and then came home for a snack. I remember one time, in 1979, being in the park and doing flips off of the monkey bars. A wood chip landed in my knee and I was bleeding. It hurt a lot. After a little crying, I walked to the house across from the park, because I knew a girl from school lived there. I was smart enough at 8 years old to figure out a solution to my problem. In case you missed it, I was BY MYSELF in the park doing flips off the monkey bars. If you are a parent today, I ask you to stop and think about that. My son is going to be 9 next week and I know that most of us wouldn’t let our kids do that today. We have a million reasons- many are justified too- about why we can’t and won’t let them do that, but my point is that I was NO SMARTER than my son is. The difference? I had the opportunity to experience life and figure out how to handle 8 year old problems. I was able to do that because I had the chance to experience 5 year old problems. And 6 year old problems. And 7 year old problems. And that was how I grew up in 1979. So how do I let my kids figure out their 6 and 9 year old problems? Maybe I need to stop looking at their lives with my 40-something eyes which are getting close to needing help seeing things up close. Maybe I need to stop trying to see their lives up close, let them experience things and just be there when they need me. Let them ASK for things, call a friend, have a fight and learn that they are better at solving their problems than I ever thought. With all that free time I might just be able to refocus on things that are important to me. I love to cook. Maybe I can spend time making a great dinner so I can hear what my kids did today in 2015.

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Filed under fear, I was wrong., Mom Rant, parenting, Personal Growth, What Really Happened

Eating the Golden Rule

I’ve been thinking about trying a vegan diet for a month.  I’ve always been a sorta vegetarian- mostly because I don’t like the texture of meat- but certainly not serious about it.  Now I know that pretty much EVERYONE has an opinion on this topic and really, that’s fine, but it’s also fine for everyone to do whatever works for them.  This post is really just my ramblings about my recent thoughts.

When I think about how I want to live my life, I really try to abide by the Golden Rule.

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

I try and be kind and mindful in my actions with others.  I try to treat others as I would like to be treated.  I am not always successful, but I try.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I eat and the concept of putting good things in my body, in order to live a more positive life.  The idea is similar to the Golden Rule, except in this case, I am putting good things in, hoping that goodness will come out.  If I eat healthy, I live healthy.  It’s kind of like “you are what you eat”.  If I eat like garbage, I feel like garbage.  If I eat well, I feel well.  Pretty simple, right?

But lately, I’ve been expanding this idea to include how my food is produced.  If farmers, plants, even the animals are treated poorly, how does this affect my life after I consume the food they produce?  I don’t have any answers, just questions and again, I know there are as many opinions and perspectives as there are snowflakes.  None of these seem to help me get any closer to the right thing for me.  So I’ve been thinking… and thinking… and thinking.

What I think I would like to try is to eat a Golden Rule diet.  And that means thinking about how the food has been produced before consuming it.  For example, most of the time, I plan to eat a plant-based, vegan diet, but I would like to also add in dairy products, when and if I can eat them knowing that the animals and humans who produce the food are treated as I would like to be.  I imagine that this might take some getting used to, but it shouldn’t be impossible, should it?  It might be pricy, but if I can’t afford something, is that reason enough to buy a less than ‘golden’ product, or do I just go without?  I mean, in every other area of my life, I try not to compromise my values when they don’t align with others or my circumstances, right?

Uh-oh.  I totally do this sometimes.  But I think, truthfully, a lot of us do this.  We take a job that compromises our needs, either personally or financially, because we need a job.  We spend time with someone we don’t really like because we don’t want to be alone.  And we eat what we know isn’t ‘good for us’.

Do you think there is benefit to changing this.  Does anyone want to share an adventure with me?  Do you want to join me on the eating the Golden Rule?  I have no science or anything to back this up, if you need it to do this.  Of course, if you know of any data, feel free to share.

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Filed under Glorious Food, I was wrong.