Your Parenting Philosophy Is A Joke!

What is your parenting philosophy? Um, try not to get them killed and hope they don’t grow up to loathe me? When that blurry little plus sign materialized on the stick trembling in my hand I was wholly unprepared for what lay ahead.

Confession time; I never wanted kids. That biological yearning to mother another human, it just wasn’t a part of my makeup. Or so I thought. Turns out that you don’t have to declare a desire to rear children in order to conceive. Who knew?!

Only everybody. 

When my oldest “reality check” came along it was almost instantaneously obvious to me that I’d been living some deluded idiom.  The kid was {is} cool.  Cooler than I ever would or could be. I was totally into this parenting thing. Maybe even made for it.

Naturally this revelation also came with an instant, fully-formed, and completely correct in every possible way, parenting philosophy.

Fellow parents, you may roll your eyes now.

My son was singularly brilliant. I’d teach him to read before he could crawl. Yes, he was going to be multilingual by age five. Never would a commercially produced morsel of food find its way past his cherubic lips. He’d wear only the best, washed always in Dreft {also known as the precursor to organic, fragrance free, sustainably produced, vegan, non-gmo laundry detergent.}  A smudge of dirt had less than a thirty second life-span anywhere on him.

Is that the sound of rapidly spinning rotter blades I hear? 

And, like a Highlander… there could be only one. Then, two lines in the window.

When she came along, my first daughter turned my world on its ear. Sixteen years later I’ve yet to right things, and I like it that way.

Your Parenting Philosophy Is a Joke - Because They Have Thier Own PlansWhere my first child was in many ways shaped after the me I thought I was, she would march to her own beat from day one. In fact the first photo snapped of her – seconds after eviction from the womb- shows her with a graceful, long, perfectly-formed middle finger resting on her chubby little cheek. This kid would do things her way.

With all four of my kids {yeah, the “no kids” plan is shot to hell} I’ve tossed out that whole parenting philosophy thing. Instead I just try my best to help them find their place in the world. By world I mean exactly that. We work hard to teach them that there is a common thread that connects us all, no matter our geographic location, spiritual beliefs, or economic situation.

Sometimes those lessons come through our travels, or our “Travel Nights” – a fun family tradition that lets us “travel” without leaving home by bringing in food, music, and cultural information about places we long to explore. Other times it comes in helping them connect with people who don’t look or live like they do through work with organizations we adore – like the UN Foundation.

For as long as I can remember, my oldest daughter has been the most taken with the idea of Global Citizenship. Her personal mantra is, “I will go to all the places.” So I’ve always expected that she’d want to study abroad at some point. Like her senior year of college. But as a Junior in high school? Yeah, no.

Be careful what you ask for, right?

I’m not sure why I’m all that shocked that she is so ready to fly. People tell me she’s been asking to spend a summer abroad since middle school. Somehow, I didn’t hear that.  Ignore it, she’ll forget about it like she did One Direction. Much like my feelings for the boy band genre, I’m not cool with this.

Gas up the chopper! 

I was nineteen when I moved to Spain. It’s not like I went without a safety net – or even by choice– the Navy had that covered. My parents never had to find a host family, a reputable program, do background checks, take blood samples, and interrogate anyone that might possibly have contact with their daughter. I was an adult {legally speaking.} She is a baby {mostly.}

This whole give them roots and wings thing is a load of crap. Sappy copy for greeting cards and fridge magnets. How about we just give them that tentacled vine thing they kept beneath that trapdoor under the three headed dog at Hogwarts? Who says we have to equip them with life skills to help them grow into confident, responsible, self-reliant adults?  Bah! 

take the world with you whever you goThe globe has lots of citizens, I only have one KK.





2 thoughts on “Your Parenting Philosophy Is A Joke!”

  1. Girl I feel ya! I have one just back from England, one in Cambodia and the third son (15) is shotgunning high school graduation by a year so he can travel as well. They’re getting younger and I can’t seem to grasp a tether for a single one of them. What were we thinking when we planned they’d one day travel and experience the world?! We were so young and naive. I wish I could have a talking to… my young, free mama self. sigh and yet our parenting musta worked, ’cause they’re all doing what we dreamed they’d do.
    Kristin Potler´s last blog post ..Rains of Change

    1. Oh honey, you must be so proud.. and pulling your hair out. Funny how we know in our hearts this travel thing will make them stronger, more compassionate, earth-moving, humans but it costs us so much to give them the world. Your daughter was like 10 the last time I blinked!

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