Skip to main content

Just minding the gap

Ok, "you do," but if you fall, you're explaining it to Mom.
One small step for Rand; one big step for independence.
"No, No, No.  Me," my son says as he tries to span a gap that seems impossibly large for his little, flip-flop clad feet.

"Alright, son, I'm just minding the gap."

As much as the refutation of my help hurt on some level, I loved his independence in this moment.  Of course there was a chance he would get hurt.  He was three feet up on a metal play set crossing a gap he probably had no business crossing.

To me, this was a prime position for him to lose balance, topple over and bang his head on the metal play set.  Probably multiple times.  Have I mentioned its metal?

He wobbled and my hand reflexively grasped at his shirt. Again the words came, this time with a swipe at my shirt-filled hand; the turn required for this rejection of Daddy unbalanced him more than anything he had done.

"No, No, No."

"Ok.  I'm just here for you if you fall."

Of course, if he fell, I'd have to trek back home to explain the fall to my wife.  "Yeah, yeah, hon, I was watching him closely.  Well, no, in hindsight it doesn't seem like a good idea to have let him do that, but at the time ..."

In the end, parenting isn't so much about protecting your kids as it is about letting them take calculated risks You could wrap your kid in bubble wrap and never let them leave a secured 8-by-8 room if that was the goal.  And you'd probably be 99% successful in safely raising your child to adulthood.  Whether that adulthood would be happy or not is another question.

No; parenting isn't about just getting your child to adulthood.  It's about raising a future adult.

Think about childhood as the minor leagues of adulthood.  Sure, you don't throw your best young pitcher into a major league game until he's developed enough pitches and enough experience to handle it; but that also doesn't mean you don't promote him to an appropriate league and let him get hit around a little.  The goal isn't to dominate A-class ball, its to eventually dominate the Major Leagues.

You might be 99% successful in safely raising your child in that bubble wrapped room.  But here is the thing: I'm likely to be 98% successful in safely raising my child, and I hope he'll be a lot better off for it.


Popular posts from this blog

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…

I Really Should...

... write an ode to Yunnan jig tea. It's great, honestly.  Smooth and delightful with just the right amount of punchy flavor.  Not coffee, but nicely caffeinated.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, find some loose leaf Yunnan jig and brew away.  May I suggest something from

... creatively write more.  I have a few story ideas.  At least 3, including the one I've already written and desperately need to edit and round out.  But its such a ... chore.  I really like reading, and I don't mind writing.  I actually enjoy writing one-off stuff like I do here.  But putting together 75k-100k in a complete order that makes sense and completes a story arc?  Ugh. Its all ... so much.  Blame my years in journalism, where I write tons of one-off stuff where the narrative is kind of half written for

(Speaking of this blog and writing)

... post more here.  As with all things, I guess, time is hard to find, whilst being a poor excuse.

... think before I agree…

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:

What I told you was true… from a certain point of view
In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 
But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 
Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 
When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.
And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with…