Saturday, July 12, 2008

"You" Time

When I was growing up, I spent countless bedtimes sitting with my mom asking about life. We had hours of conversations talking about something as simple as how bad the cafeteria food was, to something as complicated as what to do about someone I saw cheating on a test. Those talks helped shape who I am today.

I try to offer the same special time with my own children. But I can't do it at bedtime. First of all, they all sleep together. So private conversations are impossible. Also, by the time the kids are going to bed, I'm spent. My patience is gone. I'm tired. And I just want to sit down and have some quiet time for myself.-- Not exactly conducive to heart-to-hearts.

So, I try to make arrangements for each of my children to get to be an "only child" from time to time. Sometimes I take just one child to the supermarket. Sometimes I try to get two of the three children to spend the night away from home.

All of my kids revel in "only child" time. Even though they love each other dearly, they also like their individuality and their time alone with mom and/or dad.

My parents (their grandparents) try to do the same thing, themselves. The kids adore "only grandchild" time with Grandmomma and Grandaddy!

Recently, I had Emma in the car with me alone. She is the child who likes to please. While that's nice to have an easy child, it concerns me for her own sake. I would hate for her to ever give in to peer pressure, for even trivial actions, in order to please her friends.

I asked her what she would do if one of her friends asked her to do something she didn't want to do. She sort of shrugged her shoulders.

"Well, what if they said they wouldn't think they were cool and more and they wouldn't talk to you anymore if you didn't do it?"

"I guess, I would tell them I didn't want to do it," she said, unsure.

"Emma, if they really pushed you, what would you do?"

"Well, I don't know," she said quietly, looking up through her lashes.

"OK," I redirected. "Say, your best friend wanted you to steal a candy bar. And she said if you didn't steal that candy bar, she wouldn't talk to you ever again. And she said she would tell everyone that you were a baby and un-cool?"

Emma thought for a few minutes, then got a gleam in her eye.

"I would go to the store, buy the candy bar, and then just tell them I stole it," she said smiling.

Clever girl. While, ever the peace keeper. Ever the pleaser.

"Emma, would I ever do anything on purpose to hurt you?"

"No," she said emphatically.


"Because you love me."

"Would I ever ask you to do something that I knew would get you in trouble?

"No," she said again.


"Because, mommy, you love me!" she said, exasperated.

"So, if a friend is really a friend, would they ask you to do something they knew was wrong?"

She rolled this over in her mind as she picked at some finger nail polish.

Finally she looked up and smiled, "No?"

I smiled back. "So what would you do about the candy bar?" I asked quietly.

"I would tell them 'no!'," she smiled confidently.

"How did you get so smart?" I asked her.

She shrugged and smiled.

I know we'll have many more discussions in the years to come. And I can't wait to watch her turn into the amazing young woman I know she'll be.

All three of my kids are awesome- collectively and individually. I would feel like a piece of me was missing if I had only ever had one or two of my kids, instead of all three. With all of them, I feel whole. With each of them, I feel blessed.

1 comment:

ThePrincessMommy said...

Good ole' Emma!!! What do you think Amy will say??? LOLOLOLOLOL. Seriously - this was good and you are a very good Mommy!