A few of my facebook friends have posted this really funny picture of this little boy jumping off a ramp on his Big Wheels. The caption under the picture says something like "no knee-pads, no helmets, that's just how we rolled in the 70's". Being a child of the 70's I found it pretty funny. I grew up in the country. We had a big red barn full of straw. My sister and I loved to play in that barn for hours. I used to climb to the top of the rafters and jump into that straw. We had races where we swam through the straw and pretended it was a swimming race. We did things that as a parent make my hair stand on end. As kids we were out from sunup to sundown. I loved to go into the barn in my bare feet and feel the squish of the chicken poop between my toes! The adult me gags at this.
Right now we are a nation of "bubble wrappers". I am the worst offender of this. I am terrified that someone scars my child physically or mentally. I want to spare them all of the hurts this world is more than willing to dole out. I want to smother them with my love. It occured to me yesterday that perhaps I am suffocating them with my love. What kind of children will this generation grow up to be? Will they think that the world owes them something? That to get what you want, you just put out your hand? That when eventually the hurt comes, will they be equipped to deal with it?
Perhaps as parents it is better to let them experience some physical and emotional pain, so that they learn how to heal themselves, instead of us doing it for them. Who among us does not have scars? I personally am loaded with physical and emotional scars, and they make me the person that I am today. My scars give me cool stories to share about each one of them. "This scar on my knee I got from a race my friend and I had at the Eaton's Centre. We were in our first year of university, my very first time on my own. We had gone to see Jacob's Ladder (man that was a weird movie). . ."
From each scar I learned about how the world works, and what not to repeat. Every scar is a life lesson. I am trying to cheat my children of these valuable life lessons. I am doing their homework for them and they are reaping none of the benefits. As I sit here and write this I am realizing that the reason I am doing this is for selfish reasons. It pains me too greatly to see them in pain. How will I feel when as adults they have not clue how to function in this world.
I am making a vow to allow them to get hurt, well maybe just a little.