I’m not big on the parenting books, but I did like Wendy Mogel’s The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children. My biggest takeaway from it is that we, as parents, are essentially raising our children to have the skills they need to leave us. We must raise our children so that someday they can be independent. I think of this often when deciding what’s best for my kids. I sometimes push my own comfort zone in order to let them have the space they need (for instance, when my precious baby boy decided he wanted to go to sleep away camp this summer. I’m not ready for it, but apparently, he is, and he’ll be going).
But I’m wondering if perhaps I’ve made them a little too independent. Pie and I were walking to school one morning, on the way to the before-school PE class she takes and at which I volunteer (Doodles opted out of it this year).
Me: Be careful. You’re pushing me into the street.
The girl: Oh, sorry.
Me: You don’t want me to get run over by a car. Then you’d have a pancake mommy.
The girl: You’d be a pancake? Oh, I get it! Because you’d be flat from the car hitting you.
Me: Yep. And I don’t think I’d be able to drive you to dance class if I were a pancake. I wouldn’t fit behind the wheel of the car.
The girl: Yep.
Me: So let’s walk on the side of the road.
The girl: Okay. But if you did get hit, I’d run to school and call 911.
Me: Wouldn’t it be closer to run home and call 911?
The girl [confused]: Well, then I’d be late for school!
Me: Don’t you think, if your mother was hit by a car, that they’d let you skip school?
The girl: But why would I skip school? I love school!
Me: Because I’d be hit by car?
The girl: I’d run to school. I’d have them call 911. And then I’d look for Beetle and tell her she’d have to take me home after school.
One mommy. Already obsolete…