When you’re a parent it’s easy to question if you’re raising your child right.
As parents we see every aspect of our children no matter how good or bad. Whether it’s bad behavior, jealousy, greed, meanness or other negative behaviors we see it because as children they don’t yet know how to hide it like we do as adults. Let’s just all be honest and confess that we struggle with all of those things but we’ve become masters of disguise.
No one is perfect. Yet looking at your child day in and day out and seeing their flaws sometimes makes you questions how you’re raising them. Sometimes the holidays can make these small issues amplify when they give you a christmas list that’s longer than an encyclopedia and demand it all or when they seem to only be worried about what they are getting for Christmas.
In the past few days two things have happened that have shown me that I need to stop focusing on the small negative details and look at the greater picture.
First my oldest told me that she would rather spend Christmas with her grandparents than receive gifts because in her words, “it’s more special that way”. She’ll probably yell at her little sister tomorrow but it’s the little details. I’m proud to say that she’s getting the big picture.
Second tonight as I was placing the wrapped gifts under the tree I noticed there were crudely wrapped packages way in the back. Closer inspection showed me that the older two girls had a gift for every member of our house, even the guinea pig. They had asked a few weeks ago for us to take them Christmas shopping for gifts for each other but we said no because last year they just came home and immediately told the other one what they had bought. We saw them scheming about what toys the wanted the other to buy for them this year and we decided not to go that route this year. Apparently it meant more to them than we understood.
I loosened the tape on the gifts they had given to each other and their little sister to discover that they had wrapped their own belongings to give to their sisters. A sweater that was too small for them was given to their little sister and a little picture to hang on the cage walls was wrapped for the guinea pig. There’s one for me as well but I didn’t open it.
Somehow I think we’re going to make it out of this parenting thing alright. We are so far from perfect parents that you can’t even see the minivan. But….I think we might just make it. And somehow I know that they’re going to be just fine.
I just hope they’re still as giving when it comes time to pick our nursing homes.