So, I wrote this a few months ago, but had some netbook isssues, so I haven’t been able to post. But, I think it still applies.
I’m feeling a little divided. Today my kids and I got into trouble with another mom. We were at a party doing some mini-golf. Now, my kids have never tried mini-golf before. And it was after *several* sodas and a bunch of cookies. So, they were a little all over the place. They were very excited and were definitely learning as we went. We came to a hole that required them to not only hit the ball straight up a hill, but also required that they time it so that the mouth of the house would be open. This would be a doable task for some kids. My kids are not in that catergory. So, we let them have at it… There were a couple golfers in front of us but we thought there was no way that they’d ever make it to where the other golfers were. Well, lo and behold, our little Bean made it.
As we move onto the next hole, the mom in front of us came and told us that her child has special needs and takes golf very seriously and that we basically needed to back off.
So, here’s where the division comes in.
I genuinely feel bad for that mom. I feel bad for a kiddo who can’t handle having his game of golf interrupted. (By the way, I feel like each time I type golf I should really type “golf” because is mini-golf really golf?) I am reading a book right now about a child with autism and the same situation is described.
I was also at a party with a ton of foster and adopted families. And there were a bunch of special needs kids and adults at the party with us. For the love of all, I flippin’ teach a class for parents who want to parent these very special individuals. I like to think that I *get* it.
So, that’s the other side. I get it. I know that kids have struggles. Every.single.kiddo has something that’s difficult. There are some who have a hard time with math, some who can’t balance (try riding a bike?!?), some who will have very crooked teeth, some who have vision issues, or hearing… The list could go on and on.
And I think as a parent, you have to make the choice how you’ll handle that. You can insulate your child. You can never take them to uncomfortable situations.. You can label them with their can’ts.
I am a little annoyed with the mom we encountered today. I don’t think that my kids were doing anything wrong. They were being kids. I understand that she wanted to protect her child. But, I feel like I should have protected mine by telling her to bugger off. J Well, I don’t know if I would have gone that far. But, I think that trying to build a bubble around a child is silly. If our kids don’t learn how to cope with the world as children, when will they learn? If we aren’t there to guide them and teach them and work with them when they are young, how will they grow?
When I describe the behaviors that my kids have I’m often told that they’re “typical foster” behaviors. And that is true. *But*, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work our way through them. My children cannot go through life saying, “I was a foster child, I don’t have to abide by your rules.” Well,I guess they could. I don’t think they’d succeed at much though. The fact is that I’m not raising foster kids. I’m raising tomorrow’s adults. Maybe that sounds grandiose, but it’s my job and I’m working my hardest at it.
So, to the grouchy lady, “By protecting your son from my kids, you’re really hindering his ability to grow. That’s your choice, he’s yours, but kindly don’t ruin our fun next time!”