November 3, 2011

A week ago as I drug a kicking and screaming child from the library story time, I had a few thoughts about acceptance and parenting that I would like to share. It seems that acceptance is something we all struggle with, whether early in parenting or late, whether expected or not, we all have set expectations for our children. Be it the gender, the size, appearance, behavior, interests or dislikes, habits and style of our children – all these things usually have an formed shape of what we wish them to be.

In my parenting world it is no different. I love to read and there are few places that hold magic quite like the library for me. As a child, the library was my sanctuary. Being an awkward,glasses wearing chubby kid I used to find my solace in the books of the children’s and eventually young adult section. Anything I could possibly get my hands on I would read – Austin, Faulkner, Milne, Lewis, (the list escapes me after so many years).  As a child I would read my high school aged brother’s books and fully understand and explain them to him. I think I make my love of books pretty clear!

My son, on the other hand, does not seem to enjoy this form of entertainment. Mind you, he is two and two year old’s really don’t have a full grasp on what they do and do not like, but after almost two years of going to library story time he is not enjoying it any more. Each time we visit the library he loves going in, loves returning books or checking them out but once we attempt to enter the storytime room he fights and fights – and then I spend the entire hour attempting to keep him from leaving or screaming or having a full melt down. It is exhausting.

I see the other children who love their library time and am envious. I wish him to be the little boy engrossed in the story (he has never once paid attention!) following the songs and rhymes, singing along and loving every second of this special time. I wish him to be dying and begging  to go to the library as I did long ago. But he doesn’t.

He prefers to be at home with his familiar items, playing and learning at his own pace. He prefers to be with friends and running and jumping. Maybe it is a boy thing (being a little girl I am sure I would not understand!) or maybe it is a two year old thing.

Because, despite this little insignificant issue, he is an amazing and smart little guy. He learns so much so quickly, has his own way of doing things and his own way to tell you what he wants. I am amazed by his skill and understanding every single day as he grows and his verbal abilities get better. He is perfect in his own way – all of his lovely three foot tall, goofy, silly, intelligent, artistic, Duckie carrying self.

As a parent it is all about acceptance. Acceptance that your body will not be yours for years, that you will no longer have privacy, that you will have a little creature to love, teach and nurture.  Acceptance that you, yourself,  might not be the parent you always dreamed of, the mother/father you thought you would be. Maybe you are better than you thought, maybe worse. But the acceptance is there. I am learning that part of this parenting world comes with learning acceptance to take our children as they are – maybe just like us as children or maybe not – but accepting them for the amazing creatures they really are.





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