One of the more memorable pieces I’ve read this year was about the fossilized footprints found at White Sands National Park. A set of large footprints and then every so often a set of smaller footprints alongside. What was going on? We have no idea, but then again, of course we do. If you are a parent you’ve done this same walk a hundred times. No matter how weird and dangerous things became this year, it’s oddly reassuring that this has all been happening for a long time. As parents. As humans. We’re all in this together.
It works just as well in the present, too. I get the same relief and reassurance when I start to Google ‘is glitter in the ear canal harmful’ and it autocompletes before I finish. Thank god some other parent has been here before…
It’s becoming clear as we work our way through fourth grade that while in many ways Cecilia is very similar to me (mostly reserved, easily embarrassed, great hair), she definitely does not learn like me.
This realization, simple as it may seem, has led to more peaceful parenting when she gets home after school. It’s up to me to adapt and let her know that one, her way is legit and acceptable and two, that no matter what, I’m on team Ce and will be there to help her even if it means new math, taking the long way around, or listening to endless facts about Canada.
My #1 job is not to force a certain way or take delight only in accomplishments but to value and love her for the nutty young woman she is becoming, no strings attached.
Neither of us is perfect, but starting from a place of compassion and support and not right versus wrong will hopefully have an impact on us long past fourth grade.