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Somethin' for the Kiddies....

Saturday, November 11, 2006

And One More Thing Before You Go...

I live in a very nice community. It's very family-friendly, with great schools, nice houses, etc. Parents are very involved, sports programs are incredibly supported, etc. Maybe I am naive, but I sense a feeling of "family" and "community" here. So, I was walking with the kids the other morning (maybe the day after Halloween?). I strolled by something that caught me off guard. I didn't want to stop and analyze with the kids there, but I believe it was a toilet paper roll that had been made into a make-shift bong of some sort. It made me feel sad for some reason. I mean, there will always be kids that smoke pot, look for trouble, etc. But I internalize everything and think about my kids and think - will they ever do that? Or, how dare some rotten kids make a bong and throw it out of their car window into MY nice neighborhood where MY kids could pick it up or wonder what it is.
I happen to live by the local high school. I see the kids walking up to school in the morning, at lunch (they have open campus), etc. I am intrigued by these teenagers. I like to analyze them as I walk by. Most don't make eye contact. Some look full of teenage angst, others are in the midst of a serious conversation with their friends, others just look nervous to be walking by someone they might have to interact with. I look down at my kids, and I try to imagine them as teenagers. I think about how much they worship me right now and how I better soak it up while I can. I am sure Lucy and I will be at each other's throats a time or two, and I am sure Tommy will want nothing to do with me a lot of the time. Of course, I have dreams of this really great, open relationship, where they can come to me with anything, with no judgement and they will never lie to me, etc. But then I snap back into reality. Before it happened, I was really nervous to become a mother of a newborn. Now...I am really nervous to be the mother of a teenager.
I saw Maria Shriver on Oprah last year, and she really impressed me. She was on with her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, talking about how her mother raised her and how she now raises her children. Something about her as she described her growing up, her children, her parenting style, stuck with me. I walked away from that wanting to be the kind of mother she is to her teenage children. She talks about leading by example, asking lots of questions, and being a parent and not always a friend. The other day I read her book. It's really a great book to give a daughter as she heads off to college. But, I just enjoyed reading it myself. It reinforced and reminded me of all the things I want to instill in my kids before they leave "our nest."
It is silly, really, to think of these things as I look at my 8 month old and 2.5 year old. We have many, many years together before any of that happens. But I guess sometimes, when I see these kids strolling along as young adults in the world, or I randomly find a "bong" in the bushes, just a block from my house, it reminds me that it all goes so fast. I want to equip my kids the very best I know how to handle this crazy world.


At 9:53 PM, Blogger meg said...

I shall guard. Near or far.


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I'm a 39 year old stay-at-home mom. I have a 9 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. I have lived in the big city and in the mountains, but am happy to be back in the Midwest, raising the fam. I enjoy laughing, wine, bad karaoke, US Weekly, running, cemetaries, cheese sticks and short hair-dos. In my previous life, I was class-clown and a wanna-be comedian. In my professional life, I'm a journalism major with 10 years of marketing and PR experience. I dream of being a cast member on Saturday Night Live and working at Disney World as Snow White.

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