What do a little short bus
and a Cars back pack
have in common?
Well, they both have to do with Locke’s preschool, and they both have to do with parenting PRIDE or HUMILITY, depending on how you look at it.
I have written about parenting ego before, but pride rears its ugly head in many different parenting scenarios, and I think it is important to revisit topics that all of us struggle with.
See I wasn’t going to let Locke take the little bus home from preschool. I rationalized that he was too young, that the ride was too long, that he wouldn’t be as safe. But if I really got to the bottom of all my apprehension, I think it boiled down to my pride. I was hung up that Locke has a few special needs that he will be serviced for. The short bus is a well-known symbol of special needs. I was prideful about the stigma.
So the bus was really about me and my ego and not about Locke.
And then there is the backpack…
I vowed in my earlier mothering years never to let my child wear character clothing. I was too cool for that– too hip. And I wanted my kids to be cool and hip too. Dora and Buzz and Spiderman seemed obnoxious and cheap and tasteless. Again, I had pride about what my children wore, not because of how it affected them, but because of how it affected me- how it made me look as a parent.
But thanks to age and wisdom and experience, I am learning. I saw my decisions for what they were, and I chose humility over pride this time around.
I let Locke ride the short bus home.
He kept saying “ride bus”, “ride bus” when I picked him up from preschool. So what was I supposed to say? “Sorry honey, but mommy is too embarrassed. My ego is too big. It would look better if I drove you.”
And when I found out he needed a large back pack for preschool I went to Target and stared at my options. I went back and forth with what I wanted Locke to have and what I knew he would prefer.
Long story short, the fancy, Cars covered backpack made its way to the register. Because again, what was I supposed to say? “Sorry Locke. I know you adore all things Cars, but mom wants you to be cooler than that and wear a hip look because it is really important to set your style now that you are 3.”
I swallowed my pride and bought the loud, bright Cars backpack that I knew Locke would love.
I think parents’ pride is manifest in many different scenarios. I see our ego seeping in to our kids
But if we, as parents, could step back, and choose humility instead– take the burden of our ego off their shoulders– the kids would fly; they would gain more confidence, and they would be happier. Our children would be more in line with who they really are, not who we want them to be.
I am sure my ego will creep back into my parenting here and there… maybe with Elle’s first zit or the first time Crew sits the bench. But if I keep reminding myself that children flourish under humility, maybe I can keep the beast in check.