Letting them rise to the challenge

July 27th, 2010

My kids surprise me sometimes.  Just when I expect they’re going to forget to follow through, just when I am certain they’ll forget some important detail, just when I think they’re not paying a bit of attention, they blow me away by acting like adults.  And it’s easier for them to act like adults, when I treat them that way.  If I keep nagging, keep reminding, keep doing things for them, it sends the message that I don’t think they’re capable. 

Since our goal in parenting has always been (theoretically) to get our children to become responsible adults, letting them practice that now seems like a grown-up thing for ME to do.

Packing up the heart

July 20th, 2010

I look around my son’s room and see the artifacts of his life at home.  It’s always a bit of a surprise to see what he chooses to take along with him to campus, and what he chooses to leave behind.

That first semester I had to help him think things through.  I doubt he would have bothered with a trash can or a pencil sharpener. A shower caddy?  He cringed at the idea, but he must have figured he could toss it out once I dropped him off.  It’s a delicate dance, helping your young adult child think and letting him think for himself.

So the list of things I would have packed for the boy to take that he left behind?  Photos from our last summer’s family vacation.  Extra socks.  The Beanie Baby gorilla I gave him when he turned 8.  And this broken piece of my heart.