So Georgie asked me the other day about divorce. Totally out of the blue, as he has no experience with the subject (unless you count a random Mister Rogers episode a several months back).
Me: “Do you know what divorce is?”
Him: “It’s when the parents don’t like each other and stay away.”
Me: “Are your parents married or divorced?”
I’m learning that one of the hardest things about being a parent is not obsessing with sheltering your child. I don’t want him to be exposed to bad behavior, violence, pain, suffering, disappointment… but is that realistic? What good am I doing him if I shelter him from everything? I think it’s more dangerous to overly-protect a child, then toss him out into the world at 18 and say, ‘there you go!’
So, as hard as it is to do, we’ve chosen to allow them to be exposed to things. Kids can be mean, and don’t always share. Art classes get canceled,* play dates get changed, Nature Center programs get postponed and the wolves aren’t always on exhibit. They have to learn to deal with disappointment, and understand that these things happen.
It doesn’t make it any easier on the parent.
*That reminds me; Thanks so much Fairview Park Rec, it’s fun to explain to my two little boys that you canceled their art class but didn’t tell us until we were in the reception area waiting for the room to be opened up. Mr. Youth Program Coordinator, do you have any idea what it entails to have to bundle up two preschoolers and a toddler and have them at the rec by 9AM? (Probably not, since it’s probably been years since you’ve had little kids, and even then your wife likely took care of everything ) Do you have any idea how irritating it is when you cancel a class without the courtesy of a phone call informing the parents? Do you have any idea how angry I am that this is the second time this has happened? The first time, the instructor called me, and I never heard from the Rec until I had to call to have my money refunded?
That $300 a year increase in my taxes was just so worth it. /sarcastic diatribe