September 20, 2010

false expectations...

Just when I was getting accostumed to the difficult threes, my boy leaps forward once again - and I am not ready!

My son is a very versatile boy, well he comes from two VERY different parents. I am an art lover, independent movies, theater, opera, yoga, crafts and over-thinking your way through life.
My boy's dad likes MMA (new fighting style) and other stuff.

I have been paying close attention to where my boy was going to turn, art lover or nose breaker...

I was ecstatic when my boy said he really likes movies, when he watched the Phantom of the Opera with me, when he is insistant in making his own halloween decorations, and taking theater classes - WOW!
But little by little I began to realize that his goals and what he takes out of those activities is not what I had in mind.

While I love the results, he loves the process. As I love to watch my movies quietly, he loves to act them out, as I love a good final performance, he loves the journey and watch the play unfold. Those differences took me by surprise and gave me a slap in the face.
This is not mommy's boy made unto her image, nor daddy's boy made unto his image (since he also loves practicing karate moves and is a picky dresser) This is a little boy growing up to be his own.

I think it is difficult to have our kids in a shared physical custody situation, since we are not witnesses if the time spent with the other parent. We wonder if what he has learned with us is going to be erased and replaced with another type of thinking and jealousy for the child's heart sets in. A tight grip is a normal desire to have in a separate home situation, but not when starts to interfere with the growing desires of the child.
Of course he will share some of our interests (until the think we are un-cool anyway) and the other parents as well - they share DNA and kids mimic behavior, but there is a point in which we have to let go and let them be.

It is important to love and support our kids no matter what - but in the proper context, allowing correction of course. To step back and let them be is hard, since it is natural to tend to over-compensate when in a divorce and separate home situation.

It is important to acknowledge their feelings and allow them to have them without us knowing why sometimes - my little boy left to go to his dad's house with such expression in his face, saying he was sad, he didn't want to state the reason, and that broke my heart - but I have to allow him have emotions that I don't have to be in control of - that is part of his growth.

Freedom and independence is a great thing to receive, but a hard one to give.

Let's love our kids enough to see them and respect them for who they are, their interests are their own; and let's wonder as we discover this new person blossoming in front of our eyes.

Love your children today, tell them how proud you are of them and what a blessing they are to you.

Have a blessed day!