Monday, January 11, 2010

Parenting In The Land Of Uncertainty

There are a lot of things that you must come to terms with as a parent. One of the most difficult is the fact that you must put your kid out into the world and let them be themselves. With Viri starting at preschool this week, that has been particularly burdensome for me. I'm not good at letting go. Even in the small, eight hours a week way. I'm anxious, for him and for me.

There are two reasons for this. One, I'm sensitive to his nature. He takes things seriously, and I worry he'll get upset, or hurt. That isn't particularly logical or helpful, but there it is. I didn't start off so well with the educational system, even though I eventually enjoyed it, and I'd like him to have a less traumatic first few years. Two, I'm sensitive to my nature. I don't like dealing with teachers or administrators who have their own agenda and want to criticize me or him for little things that make their lives difficult. There is a precedent for this. When Viri was two, we sent him to this horrible woman who was "Waldorf-inspired" and highly unpleasant. She spelled his name wrong, and yelled at us for not having him potty trained, and basically just gave us lip about everything. The one I remember best is her frustration that he didn't want to sit for snack time. At two. We took him out quick.

This school seems far better, of course, and I have high hopes for it. I know also that I need to let go of what I want and what embarrasses me and just let him go out into the world. Even at four there is value in the lessons he is learning, and while they shouldn't be harsh or unbearable, they don't necessarily need to be sunshine and lollipops either. I understand that. I want him to learn to function in school and in society. I want him to find teachers and mentors who will foster that.

But I know him. I see him every day, every waking hour, and have for four years. He is difficult, and loud, and physical. He is obstinate and pushy, and single minded. He is also passionate, and sincere, and fun. He is kind and loving and gentle and open. He is a lovely and sweet and brilliant little person, and I want him to grow to be a lovely and sweet and brilliant man. I'll push him and prod him if that's necessary; but I won't let him be undervalued. He deserves better than that.

Honestly, every human being deserves better than that. Viri is the human being given to me as a son, however, and I have responsibility to be there for him. I intend to do that. I've made three good decisions in my life, and one of which was having Viri. Now I need to add a few more to guide him along the way.


barker blog said...

my god the kid is a giant.i can't touch the top of my freezer.all the other little preschoolers are going to be terrified.

WildBeggar said...

Ha! I didn't notice the perspective. That is funny