I read a blog post tonight. About a woman staring at the front door as her seventeen year old breezed past on the way to work. About how she would give anything to have one more moment of rocking her now large boy to sleep. To nurse him, and nurture him one last time.
As my three month old, blue eyed, snoring little man lay swaddled next to me I realized something. I do not have a seventeen year old boy yet. I don't even have a seventeen year old girl yet. But I do have children. And three of my four children do not require me to rock them, nurse them, and nurture them to sleep.
I also have heard many different parenting philosophies. "Don't hold that baby so much, your teaching them bad habits." As if holding your child close is like picking a wedgie... "Doesn't that child have a bed?" As if cradling a sleeping infant in your arms is an inconvenience to others.... I even once, believe it or not, was scolded for bringing my daughter to the dinner table. My first baby, and in carrying her swing to the table so she could be apart of our family gathering, was told that "it was strange and the baby should be in the other room." As if she was an unruly pet...
For me personally, I think everyone is entitled to their own parenting styles, and preferences. With the exception for child abuse or child neglect. Those are the only times I believe someone should step in. When in actuality, it seems more taboo to confront those types of situations, than it is for grandparents, random strangers even, to solicit advice to parents because they "hold their child/ren too much."
Last year, when the kids were attending a charter school up the road from us, Sarah one day came home and told me a little boy in her class didn't have a lunch and was hungry. Being she has such a compassion for others, she shared her lunch with this fellow classmate. It wasn't for a bit until I learned this was a regular occurance. I began packing extra food in her lunch box, and proceeded to mention it to the teacher. She told me she wasn't aware, but she would look into it. A week or so later, when I asked Sarah she told me he still was still sharing lunches with the kids in her class. How can a child go hungry for an entire school year, unnoticed?
I'm not saying my children have never cried, whined, or had a "terrible-two-temper-tantrum." They have. I have a Brody. And Brody can cry (even now) if he hears the sky is blue. Okay maybe that is a little extreme, but you catch my drift. I'm not telling you that "your way is wrong and mine is right." (Insert frantic finger shaking) Because my way isn't perfect. There is no such thing. I can't stand hearing people standing on their soapboxes shouting "my ideas and opinions are right, and if you don't agree you are a bad parent." All I am saying is time is short. Rock your babies. Because in a few short years they won't be babies. They will be venturing off on their wobbly, unsteady legs, ready to explore the world on their own. And every step they take is one more step away from needing your arms to be their everything. Like this mother's blog I read tonight, in what only seems like a few short years from those teetering legs, you will be left with nothing but a front door... As they drive themselves to work...
I think I am going to wake up my Davis now, just so I can rock him back to sleep. You know, because I hold him too much anyways. Goodnight all.