Ah, the self righteousness of the inexperienced and the innocents. From the mouths of blatherers both well-intended and inspired and in the unspoken words but obvious body gestures come the thoughts of those who have yet-to-experience certain phases of life. Parenthood, I’m thinking about specifically, right now.
We all know them, and we have been them ourselves, whether we admit it or shake our heads no. My friends and I sometimes joke now about never saying “I will never…” since it might come to pass that “I will… ” in fact do what I pinky swore not to do.
There are the things people say before having children like “I will never take drugs during childbirth-give my baby formula-lose my temper with my child-use disposable diapers-let my child run my life-stop staying out until 3 am (well, that one might be true…)-put my child in daycare-be a stay at home mom-work outside the home”.
When you hold that tiny infant, hope to protect it from all the evils and bad influences that surround him or her, you don’t remember all those “I will nevers” as you manage to get through each day, perhaps adding another child or puppy or lizard to this mix. Watching friends and strangers in the world, thoughts then become “I will never buy my boy a toy gun (but then realize that boys turn ANYTHING into a weapon)-let my child get really hurt in the playground-use the TV as a baby-sitter-let my child have a sleepover until he/she is 10-feed my kid chicken nuggets and other beige food several times a week-let my child wear designer clothes-walk to the bus themselves.”
The list gets longer as the children get older. “I will never let my son play tackle football-spend a fortune in time and money on travel sports-be as involved in their school as my mom was-let them be too busy-nag them-when they are teenagers, let them go to the mall/amusement park/Chicago/movies with no adults-ride a car with a 16 year old driver-ride their bikes on sidewalkless busy roads-yell at my child-worry enough to check their text messages.”
How many of your “I nevers” have you done? In hindsight, I will try to abstain from the “I nevers” since life is so unpredictable. The list I would have for when my eldest turns 16 would be sickeningly long. I do know that I will never knowingly let my kids host a party that involves alcohol while they are underage, and after seeing my neighbor’s daughter go out recently I will never let my daughters go out in THAT dress.
And I hope I will never have a blue grey curly perm when I am in my 70’s. But no promises. C