Tarzan and I have known for a while now that we were getting a rare treat, couple time. We knew we would get a weekend but now it has turned into 17 days of kid-free adult time. We’ve been so excited; we’ve been making arrangements and lining up activities that we don’t normally get the chance to enjoy. Now I’m getting nervous, scared really. As the days go by I am actually having problems sleeping, it’s so ridiculous. I lie awake in bed imagine all the worse case scenarios that can happen and I am beginning to drive myself even crazier. I have always been proud that my child can enjoy time with other people and doesn’t always require his parents there to love, comfort, and entertain but now I’m not so sure. What if there’s an accident? What if he gets hurt? What if he wants/misses me and I’m not there? As I type the words I am realizing that it’s very egocentric of me to think that he wants me around that much. For all I know he could need the break away as much as Tarzan and I do. He may be making plans and counting down the days too. I spent the greater part of all my summers away from home, I always had a great time, and NEVER got homesick granted I was older than Cheetah is now but it has to start sometime. I was so lucky to have had such a great relationship with my grandparents and aunts and I am glad that Cheetah is getting that chance as well. It really does take a village to raise a child and the more roots he can lay down the better ‘tree’ he’ll be in the long run.
I want to make sure that Tarzan and I keep Cheetah as grounded as possible. For me there was one phrase that my mom always said that has really ‘stuck’ with me, “if your family can’t tell you like it is, who will”. Of course she was right, as usual, and I want Cheetah to see his family as his greatest resource. Being an only child can be difficult, you are left with adults as your only resource for advice and at times going to an adult can seem very intimidating…I want him to have many people that he can access. It seems like we are always surrounded by people and things that want to take away a child’s innocence and zest for life and I want to fight like the dickens to keep his intact. The one area it seems he may have problems with is peer pressure.
With Tarzan and I both being leaders (as well as strong willed) people weren’t really able to make us do things we weren’t ok with…how do you make someone be a leader? For example, Cheetah has this one friend at school that he always wants to show stuff to, tell him things, or give him a snack…this ‘friend’ is a JERK. He never likes Cheetahs’ stories, show and tells, new clothes, or games and it gets Cheetah a little down. Last night he said, “Brady didn’t like my movie I brought.” I said, “This Brady kid seems like a jerk. Just because he doesn’t like something it doesn’t mean it’s not cool. You know that right?” He thought about it for a moment and replied, “No, I really want him to like my stuff.” It made me sad, I just wanted him to be a baby again, it was easier then. I want my child to be self-sufficient, to not rely on others to fulfill him or make him happy. I remember the feeling of wanting to be cool and liked by everyone but as a parent I worry about him loosing himself one day. So maybe calling his friend a 'jerk' wasn’t the right path to take. I decide to ask questions about what his favorite movies, colors, and clothes are and he gets a kick out of all the interviewing. Later that night he picks out a shirt and says, "I really think Brady is going to like this shirt”. Baffled I mumbled, “Who cares about what Brady thinks”. He retorted loudly, “Who cares what you think?” Well played.