We are not supposed to envy our kids or our spouses, for that matter. But, there are a lot of “notsupposedto’s” that just aren’t realistic. Spouses can be competitive while still rooting and loving one another. As with all things kid-related, when it comes to our kids it gets more complicated. There are many things I envy about the things my kids have in their lives, the opportunities that lie ahead, and just being younger and less jaded than me.
I think the hardest lesson for me in becoming a parent was learning to let go of my expectations for my sons. Okay, I’ll be completely honest; I’ve only been able to partially let go of them. I think it’s impossible not to have some wishes for our kids, but the focus here is really on how we have specific things we hope they’ll like or do that often mirror our own interests or fantasies.
When I was a member of the Big Brother organization it had the unexpected effect of turning out to be a parenting prep course. The “Little” (the term for the kid you are matched with) I had was a young eight-year-old girl who totally didn’t like doing anything physical. This was before I was married, let alone before I became a parent.
In those days, they matched girls with Big Brothers, something that is all too rare today, due to fears enhanced by the media and the exaggeration of sexual harassment. Another topic for another column, for sure, as the little girls without fathers need the “Bigs” just as much as the little boys do, so this is a terrible loss for them.