I just read a heartbreaking and thought-provoking article: Notes from a Dragon Mom. Be warned, it is very sad.
My heart breaks for these parents. But rather than just being sad, her words made me think. Really think.
In the face of their future (or non-future, as it were) these parents were forced to let go of a lot of things. They came to realize that a lot of the things we parents really stress about and put a lot of effort into…don’t really matter that much for their lives. What matters the most for them is loving their son as much as they possibly can for every single day of his short life.
That’s what made me think.
Because isn’t that really what it’s all about at the end of the day?
We spent a lot of time and energy making decisions for our first baby while I was pregnant. Every little choice felt like it was the very thing his future would hang on. Even whether or not we would use cloth or disposable diapers. That was a big stress point for us.
But reading the words of Dragon Mom, all those things feel…kind of trivial to me now. We as parents should certainly know what we want and choose what we feel is best for our kids, but is it really worth all the stress and craziness and preaching to other parents about how they need to do everything?*
*Dear God and other parents, Please forgive me if I have ever presumed to do that.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it’s not.
Reading the blogs of parents who have children with terminal diseases has put a lot of things into perspective for me, and this article was one more piece of perspective. Ultimately, it won’t matter to my son or to the baby in my tummy what kind of diapers I put them in or which food I introduce first or so many other things. There are so many things I can do or not do when they’re this young that they will never know the difference, because they’re not going to remember. What matters first is that I love them as much as I can for every day of our life. And that I am grateful for their health and their presence.
Yes, I do still need to parent with their health and development in mind. But I’m not going to do that at the expense of my sanity or the expense of their assurance of my love for them. At least I’m going to try.
Perspective. It’s an interesting creature, isn’t it?