Oh look! I found a new link up to join! You all know how I love these. Because I just love to write! I started to post on the 3rd and the suggested material was a post about family. It was difficult for me to write. Not sure why. Then things got busy for a few days, so I am trying again. I am joining Big Time Literacy for the 30 day writing challenge.
Today's suggested writing is about Vacations. I might want to write about that some other day. Today I want to write about my kids. And what are "mainstream" kids? Why do I apologize for the people that my children are when I introduce them to people? I am not ashamed of them or the fact that they don't fit very well into mainstream education, so why do I do that? I caught myself yesterday. Guess what. My friends' children are not cookie cutter children either and I love them more for it. I have never pretended to be anything other than me, and that isn't very mainstream. So why have I caught myself in recent history apologizing for my children and more so, for my parenting? I am not a perfect parent, that is for sure, but there's no parenting book for my kids. There are millions of them, but not just ONE single book I could read, because my children meet SO MANY different criteria, they are represented as a snippet in many chapters of many books. The truth is, no kid is a cookie cutter kid. They are all different and unique. Some children are better able to fit into mainstream education because they wear the right clothes and say the right words and probably more importantly, they DON'T say the words they shouldn't.
My friend pointed out to me yesterday (whether just in conversation or on purpose) that I am doing some things right. Some of the awesomeness of my children IS because I am doing some quality parenting. But I also have to remember that if it is true that my children can make poor choices even if/when I do everything right as a parent, I also have to realize that my children turning out great may not have that much to do with whether or not I was a great parent or not either. While the first truth takes the pressure off, the second half of that sort of takes the wind out of my sails.
All of my children have social anxiety. They each exhibit it differently, although the two at home exhibit a lot of same behaviors. I have a lot of anxiety myself and there are times that I manage better than other times and sometimes I even have an outgoing, confident personality.
My daughters will never be from a perfect middle class home. Sometimes we yell. Sometimes we make inappropriate jokes. Sometimes we squabble in public. Sometimes we just don't have the skills to be that mainstream. But my family and my kids are authentic. My youngest is a little bit shy and introverted. But yesterday we went with my friend and 9 other children she didn't know before yesterday and explored the mall and laughed and joked and came back smiling and trusting and she talked all the way home about her experience (a 30 minute drive). I felt ashamed of myself. It's not that I should apologizing for my children who are perfectly who they are, I should be exposing them to more people who are uniquely accepting of who they are. They are imperfect and they can't be crammed into a cookie cutter mold. Maybe I need to find more children for her to hang out with that are not judgmental but that accept her and laugh with her and grow the person that is inside of her.