Thursday, July 10, 2008
On Wednesday, we went to the park with some friends. It was a park that we had never been to before, and the girls loved it! I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. The park is not my favorite place. Especially new parks. Familiar, frequently visited parks are great. Unfamiliar ones...not so much. I'm constantly scouting out the place for hidden dangers, unsafe structures, and people I've seen on America's Most Wanted. See, here's the things about twins - they always, always run in opposite directions. This is especially true in open spaces (as well as Wal-Mart!). At the park, the girls often go different ways. Even if they are in the same place, it's likely that they still aren't together. One is going up the stairs, the other is coming down the slide. I prefer to have both girls within arms reach. I'll admit it, I am a bit of an overprotective parent. I really am working on it. Admitting it is the first step, right? Little by little, though, I'm learning to step back. To an outsider, I doubt that it looks like I'm making much progress. But I know that I am. There is a place between the mom who hovers over her child at the park every moment (me), and the mom who sips Starbucks, reads her magazine, and text messages her friends without glancing at her child until it's time to go home. I'm trying to find that balance. I want my kids to know that I am always there, watching and ready to help if they need me. More than that, though, I want them to know that I have confidence in them and that I believe in them. I want them to know that I know they can do it, I trust them to make good choices on their own, and I have faith in them to do the right thing. I know they'll fall (we've already had a broken arm!), and I know they will make mistakes. As much as I want to protect them from falling and failing, I know it is good for them. It is only by experiences that they will learn how to get back up, make things right, and try again. It is only by falling and failing that they will learn that they can get back up, make things right, and try again. Being a good parent isn't making sure nothing bad ever happens to your children. If that was it, I'd have it made! Instead, it's teaching your children how to handle situations and giving them the confidence to know that they can do things on their own. So cut me some slack next time you see me at the park looking a little stressed out. I'm working on it. I promise, I am!