I’m not one to make resolutions. But, I am always in favor of a little self improvement or a new tradition and the new year seems to be as good a time as any.
I’m always out to be a better parent, so I thought I’d share a story and some pictures today about how I got to be a better parent recently.
We didn’t have gingerbread houses as part of our tradition. We had gingerbread, but making it into a house and spending hours decorating it only to throw the house away would have been considered wasteful. This year, when the partially pre-fab houses went on sale, I decided it was my year to have a gingerbread house.
I opened the box and I read all the instructions and I planned how I wanted my house to look.
Finally, a week before Christmas, I started my house. All i was doing was frosting the roof so that could dry before the house was assembled. (there was a template to make all those uniform diamonds.)
And, as teenagers do, my daughter shuffled into the kitchen and asked “whatcha doin’? She sidled around the edges, never really getting close enough to seem interested, but too interested to seem like she didn’t want to get involved. So, I asked her to help…”hold that.” And, before I knew it, she was elbow deep in my gingerbread house and soon, taking it over.
And, she was pretty good. I was impressed. So, I backed out of the room and let her take it over. It took her a looooong time because working on it consistently would have implied that she was excited about something that made me excited and she couldn’t have that, so she dragged it out, finally finishing on Christmas eve.
It was hard for me to walk away from a project I was looking forward to. It was hard for me to let her do it her way, in her time.
But, being independent is part of growing up. Having a deadline, and expectations that you should meet it, is part of growing up. And, pride of accomplishment, a job well done, and a deadline met is all part of growing up.
As mad as she makes me and as often as I bite my tongue rather than pinch her little head til it pops, I’m pretty glad to be part of her growing up.
I just wish she’d do it more on my personal timeline.
So, as we bid farewell to 2014 and welcome 2015, I’m hoping we have started a new tradition; one where she gets to do more and experience more. And, one where I learn to let go more.
Everybody have a great day. Hug somebody. Lane