Things I Won’t Write About This Year

As a parent, I see so many different methods, rules, suggestions, ways to parent it’s tough to tell who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s hard to tell which method will work and which ones won’t. Well, not until 20 years later and we look back using our perfect hindsight vision and wish would would have done, said, reacted, taught, reared, our kids differently.

Looking ahead is difficult. We don’t know exactly how our kids will react to certain rules, certain consequences, the various methods of time outs and the whole reward/punishment philosophy. Over my 9 + 5 years of parenting I’ve used my own strategies and I’ve used suggestions from others. What I have learned the most are the kind of parents I dislike the most.

Parents who allow unlimited screen time  

They explain that technology is the way of the future why should their child not embrace it. They might as well learn it now and get a head start. They seem to instinctively know how it all works anyway. Besides, when they’re on their phone/tablet/computer/game console they aren’t out running the roads getting into trouble.

Parents who are strict with screen time

These parents are almost obsessive with how much time their child spends in front of a screen playing games. They justify it by arguing that there are more important things to do than play video games. They expect their child to engage in physical play, use imagination, interact with others, and in general – learn.

Babies who are breastfed

They say repeatedly that the benefits of breastfeeding are immeasureable. Antibodies, vitamins, that it provides ample nutrition for proper growth of body and brain. It’s convenient in that the baby can be fed anywhere with no prep work. It’s almost a celebratory event when a mom’s milk comes in.

Babies who are bottle fed

Some moms just aren’t physically able to breastfeed. Perhaps they don’t produce enough milk. Perhaps they see their breasts as something sexual and feel uncomfortable breastfeeding. Perhaps the baby isn’t able to breastfeed. If they can’t latch properly, they can’t eat. If they’re lactose intolerant and power puke after feeding, then they won’t eat. 

Tiger parents, helicopter parents, free range parents, snow plow parents
Some parents push their kids to succeed, even at an extremely early age. Some parent hover over their child to make sure those who influence their child do so in a way that benefits the child. Some parents allow their child the freedom to be and do what they want. Some parents push aside all problems their child might encounter before the child even knew the problem was a possibility. 

I won’t write about any of them. They’re all right. They’re alright. I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again: So long as your child is happy, healthy, and educated, keep on keeping on. Do what is right for you, your child, and your family. Never mind what that other mom is doing to survive her children. We’re just doing the best we can with what we’re given. No one knows how it’ll all turn out in the end.

Too Fast

Einstein said that time is relative. The faster you travel the slower it goes. Imagine 2 minutes. Sitting next to a celebrity you’d like most like to meet for two minutes and it’ll be over in a flash. Hold your hand over a candle flame for two minutes and it’ll feel like eternity.

Now, imagine 7 years. At the time of this writing, 7 years ago was 2007. On one hand it seems long ago. Do you remember a book you read? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and A Thousand Splendid Suns were published in 2007. Or perhaps a movie you watched? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons Movie, and 300 were all released in 2007. Jordin Sparks won American Idol that year. Seems long ago, doesn’t it? It also happens to be the year our first son was born.

Kids grow up so fast. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard a million times. My go to response is,

Nothing shows the passage of time like watching your kids grow.

That was also the year our first son was born. He had such a rough start in life. He was born with a congenital heart defect that required open heart surgery when he was only five days old. Though it was 7 years ago, I remember it like it happened yesterday.

Anyway, that was 7 years ago. His heart defect sure didn’t slow his growth. He’s outgrowing clothes at a phenomenal rate. He’s always hungry. As I look back on the past 7 years I can’t help but also look ahead. Though, I don’t like to think about how much he’ll be eating when he’s a teenager. That’s 7 years from now. He’ll be in high school. (WHAT?!)

So much has happened since he was born. We had a major move. His brother was born. An Uncle passed away. Friends got married and had kids of their own. We’re on our 4th vehicle and 3rd apartment. There have been some big changes in seven years.

It’s always the people who have older kids or their kids are grown. I, too, am guilty of telling someone with a new baby that time passes quickly. It’s not so much the day to day routine that passes quickly. It’s the weeks, the months, and years that zip by. Sure the last 7 years since our first born came into the world has gone quickly, but what about the time I was 7? 30 some years ago there were no cells phones, internet, and if you wanted to play video games you played Atari. But what if my parents think back to when they were 7? I think George Washington had just become president! (Just kidding ma and pa!) When they were 7 schools were still being desegregated. No one had gone to the moon and a gallon of gas was 31 cents.

The moral of the story? Enjoy it while it lasts. For nothing very, very good or very, very bad last for very, very long.

Now I leave you with a picture from 7 years ago…

7 years ago