It's funny (and not funny, ha ha) how when you have a baby, you think that it cannot possibly get any harder than this, with the lack of sleeping and the constant worry about almost everything. But as your kids grow up, you realize just how easy you had it back in the day.
This morning, I read an article about a mother who choked the boy who was bullying her daughter. Before I even read past the headline, I found myself almost siding with the mom. I would never do anything like that; after all, I am the one, unlike hubby, who tells my kid to turn the other cheek. But I can see how as a parent you could become so frustrated, worried, angry, etc., that you could be pushed to that point.
As both a parent and educator (albeit not too regularly for the latter), bullying concerns me. It is sometimes difficult to determine when it is just teasing/being mean and when it has gone beyond that. Of course it would be great if everyone just got along all the time and no one was ever mean to anyone else, but that is just not the real world. So how do you draw the line and know when to take action?
Last week, a mom was saying how she could not believe that parents would let their kids have a uni-brow or hair above their lips. I sat there in silence because my kid does, in fact, have a bit of a uni-brow (and this woman was probably talking about my kid). But I thought at eight, my kid could live with it. C'mon, am I going to pluck her eyebrows or take her for a waxing?! Yet now I am second guessing myself. I don't want my kid to be teased for something I could take care of. As a fourth grader, I remember being made fun of for my hairy legs. I don't know if I ever cried about the taunting, but the fact that I still remember it, over 30 years later, tells me it was pretty hurtful.
And then there is the whole keeping up with Joneses, which, much like my parents, I don't care so much about. Quite a few of J's friends have iPods and they "FaceTime" each other (I have no idea if that is a verb; up until a few weeks ago, I had never even heard of FaceTime). Not surprisingly, after spending a few hours with friends who had iPods, J asked me if she could have one for her birthday. I, being clueless about technology, consulted a friend who is always up these things, and she informed me that an iPod with FaceTime capability costs $200. What?! Parents actually spend that kind of money on their kids for something like that?!
I don't miss diapers and I am glad that my kid sleeps through the night, but these are the times that try parents' souls.