Parenthood is ripe with hypocrisy.
We say we’ll never do that and then we do precisely whatever that is (and then some).
We make rules and then we break them. And then we make them again.
We take Legos apart with our teeth and say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” (I don’t know about you, but this happens to me a lot.)
There is nothing concrete about this journey. Nothing. In fact, it’s quite slippery. It’s a slippery, slimy, perilous slope of:
I never thought I’d do that.
Just this once!
How did we end up here?
In an essay about coping with picky eaters, I wisely suggested to put blinders on. To stop comparing your kid to other kids. To stop wishing or hoping for him to be different, blend in, or make sense. To accept who he is and embrace his quirks, flaws, strength, talent, spirit, and determination. To marvel at his awesome humanness.
It’s a good strategy. Now here comes the hypocrisy.
If I have blinders on, I can’t see that my kid isn’t the only one who doesn’t like to eat. I can’t see that he isn’t the only one who gets nervous around kickball and struggles with homework. I can’t see that he isn’t the only one who doesn’t enjoy reading and is disorganized.
Blinders serve a well-intentioned purpose, but they hide what we need the most on this wild ride – perspective and assurance that we’re not alone. With blinders on, we can’t see that we’re standing to the right of a parent whose kid also shies away from sports, to the left of a parent whose kid hits when he’s over-stimulated, in front of a parent whose kid’s shoes are always untied, and behind a parent whose kid is exceptionally clingy. We can’t see that we’re swimming in a sea of parents who are doing things they never thought they’d do, making and breaking rules, and pulling Legos apart with their teeth.
Marvel at your child until his quirks, flaws, strength, talent, spirit, and determination are permanently imprinted in your brain and heart. Do it until your eyes hurt, everything is blurry, and you feel lost, unsure, scared and alone. Then, remove your blinders. Get rid of them. It’s okay to look away, focus your attention elsewhere, and give your eyes a break. It’s important. It’s healthy. It’s a relief! Rest assured, you’ll know when it’s time to put them back on because the one thing that is concrete about this journey is that good, loving, sensible, and sane parenting is ripe with hypocrisy.
Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!
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