Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Pushover

Someone told me today that I’ll be a pushover; that when my kid looks at me with their big, blue eyes, I’ll gladly hand over my car keys and my dignity. Without a thought, I denied it – refused to believe it, and I went on to explain how I’m determined to be that parent who’s tough but fair, that parent who sets high expectations, clear consequences, and follows through on the consequences when necessary, even if it means tears and a child who hates me for a little while. I’ve thought about this even before today, and I keep returning to the fact that my father was strict with me, but I don’t ever remember questioning for a moment that he loved me. I think of him when I meet with permissive parents. I so want to want to say to them, “Your child doesn’t need you to be a buddy, they need you to be a parent.” I want to heed my own unspoken advice.

This is all easy for me to say, right? I know that right now, with Linda reading next to me and a tranquil house around us, it’s easy to imagine our future toddler, then kid, and eventual adolescent falling right into line. We’ll stick to our guns, and they’ll grow into perfectly well-adjusted, confident and compassionate adults. But maybe not. I know kids have a way of wearing you down. And I know they’re cute, too. Maybe it’s true. Maybe I will buckle like a belt.

64 days until baby.

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