Today I might be serious. Perhaps.
I don’t really know how to ease into this, so pardon me for not being graceful with my writing here -- I’m just going to kind of dump this all out.
I want my children to know what I stand for. I want them to know, above all, that I believe in choosing your own path and building others up -- not tearing them down.
I also do everything that I can to show my support for (and non-support of) companies who take stands. I try and support stands for equality, for freedom, for love. I do what I can to keep from supporting stands that I see as hate, bigotry, or exclusivity. Less sugar, more healthy hippie, such as no shampoo. Things like that.
My parents brought me up with their own version of this: there was no alcohol, no gambling, no flamboyantry. I didn’t watch The Simpsons or go to the beer tent at the Slugburger Festival. There was no nakedness or anything similar. We lived in a bubble of church people, prayer, family vacations and classic car clubs.
And that’s fine. FINE. I grew up never doubting for one moment my parents’ position on most things. They did a damn fine job.
But I remember things I missed out on. I’d never seen a bottle of wine in person until I was seventeen. I didn’t understand blended families (which, looking at my situation now, is freaking hilarious). I had no idea why people believed differently than me -- only that they were wrong.
My children -- while they definitely won’t have the problem of having restricted cartoon viewing or lack of alcohol exposure (we have all already had discussions about when they are old enough to drink and how we’ll make cocktails for each other) -- may, despite my best efforts, still come out of childhood feeling slighted.
It’s hard to explain to your eight-year-old why you won’t match her in wearing her Susan B. Komen regalia when she thinks it’s so cool. To your ten year old why you don’t want him to be a Scout. To either of them why chicken nuggets and waffle fries have to be passed over.
I don’t want to dictate my kids’ beliefs -- I also want to give them the benefit (like I had) of having parents with principles. Things they believed in and stuck to even when it wasn’t easy. I want them to know what it is that we deem important -- even if they choose differently for themselves later.
Photo Credit: hectoralejandro.
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