I struggle with the idea of being the perfect parent. I have visions of the perfect children, smart, always well behaved, eat all their vegetables, who shun the soda pops and video games. I have a vision of what it should look like and IF I was a perfect parent these things would all magically appear.
But it doesn’t work that way.
Even if you are being a “perfect” parent (what that really is, I don’t know). You can only control your own feelings, be the master of your own life and realize your own dreams. And kids are going to be kids. They are going to be exposed to things that you would hope they didn’t. They will say things and do things that may make you cringe. They will explore and navigate their world in their own way. Their world is different than yours. Their dreams are different than yours. Their experiences are different to yours. They have their own unique life that you truly, no matter how hard you try, really cannot fully understand.
Today I had the privilege of being invited into my sons “fort” in the woods. He doesn’t allow all people in. I saw a place where wonders where discovered. A place I intellectually knew existed but didn’t really understand until today. I saw a glimpse of his world through his eyes. I realized that I don’t know what is always going through his head. I can only understand what he is thinking or feeling by what he tells me. And even then, I can’t perfectly understand.
We each have our own unique perspective on life. While we try to guide and teach them how to navigate this world. We can’t judge all their actions by our perceptions. We have to just try our best to listen and try to understand. Try our best.
That is how I try to be a perfect parent. Not based on how my child acts, how other people see them or what decisions they make for their lives. But I now try to understand, to listen and to guide them in their own, sometimes, stormy and uncharted seas. It may now always be glass calm waters but as long as we hold on together, I think we will have a wonderful adventure.