Be mine … or not … whatever.

The amazing thing about this parenting approach is how it gives you the insight and knowledge to shift the big picture. So even if you have trouble remembering the strategic details, if you commit to the larger goals, then most of the little things will fall into place.

For example, this was me one year ago:

“Ok, here are the supplies I bought. Do you have the class list? You don’t have it? Ok, well the teacher emailed it so I’ll print it out. Now, do you want to cut or glue? Can you write that name? Here, I’ll do that one. Whoa, that’s enough glitter. Ok, we’re about half way done, only ten more to go! Here’s an envelope for all of yours, see? I put your name on it here…”

That times three. It took up the entire evening, sometimes several evenings. I dreaded it and was sufficiently crabby each year as I felt I had no choice.

Even this year, I caught myself dreading it again until I remembered my new back-seat position and decided not to even bring it up. It was like a mini do-nothing-say-nothing where I could just observe and learn about my kids. What will they decide to do without my interference? How much do they care about making Valentines? If it turns out they really do care, what will they be willing to do on their own to make it happen? I was fascinated … and oh so relieved to be off-duty.

Well, today is Valentine-party day at school and last night the only mention of it was from Ellen at about 8:45pm: “I wanted to give everyone Jolly Ranchers for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t think of it until just now.” And then she skipped away.

That’s it. That’s all anybody said about any of it. I resisted every urge to say, ‘Don’t you want to make Valentines? All your friends will be making them. You won’t have anything to give in return!’ (Hmm, my problem or theirs?)

Turns out it’s not that important to them. And last night we had a relaxed, pleasant evening together. Happy Valentine’s Day!

ps On the way to school Charlotte said, “Mom they have these things at school that they say I have to wear for recess and they’re scratchy on my hands and when I wear them my hands are still cold but they say I have to.” “You mean when you forget your gloves?” “Yeah! But yesterday for second recess that teacher that makes me wear them wasn’t watching so I went out without anything.” We pulled up to school and Charlotte grabbed her backpack and then said, “Wait, mom. I have to put on my gloves.” She did it with an extra air of determination and then hopped out of the car leaving her hat neatly folded on the seat.

It’s ok. She’ll get it next time. 🙂

Explore posts in the same categories: Weeks following: Miscellaneous

2 Comments on “Be mine … or not … whatever.”

  1. sblanck Says:

    I love this post. I kept repeating the title – so funny! I read this AFTER our valentine event last thurs. Picture three people in an assembly line. Can’t wait to start letting go of these things….
    I’ll just say – Whatever.

    • flockmother Says:

      I love saying “whatever.” It helps me keep perspective. Like my own dad likes to say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”

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