We make it through our first month of school without incident, no tears, no frustration, just great days and smiles from our little one. Then T had his first challenge arises, and as parents, we feel frantic and want to take it on ourselves, we want to protect them but we can’t, or more accurately we shouldn’t. Our kids need to learn how to handle challenges on their own, problem solve, and figure out risk management.
I knew parenthood would be a difficult and thankless job but no one ever talked to us about the real challenge of parenthood. I spent 9 months building this little human in my body, they are physically a part of me. So, I knew they were getting what they needed, and I knew where they were every moment of the day. I was so excited to meet them, hold, them, smell them, that I never stopped to think about the fact that once they left my body, the world would have access to my child and they would have access to the world. THE WORLD!!!! So the real challenge of parenthood is knowing that you cannot protect your child from, life, and the great big world they are a part of.
We taught T that making friends takes time, you can be friendly with everyone but being a friend requires effort, you must respect the person, care about them, have their back, and understand that sometimes you will not agree, you might get into fights, but forgiveness is also a part of friendship. So when he started school, we knew he would take his time before he made a friend(s). He gives us daily debriefs of his day and we eat up every detail. Last week was the first time T told us he had a friend. We were so excited, not just someone he plays with, not just someone he talks to, but a friend! So during his debrief this week when he said they were no longer friends we were concerned. It has taken all week for him to discuss with us why they are no longer friends. As parents, it has weighed on our hearts and minds every day. We aren’t going to intervene, but it was nice to get the details and share our stories about friendship with him. Of course, I want to fix it, I want him to thrive, but I have to take a step back and let him live, allow him the chance to fix things on his own. We can’t protect him but we can be his safe place, we can be his home, and we can give him the ability to go out into the world with the knowledge that we are here for him, forever and always!