Had a great weekend with Tammy and Baby Will while Reese was having a "daddy weekend." On Sunday, we walked at a park for about an hour, shopped at Goodwill, bought groceries, and watched Where the Wild Things Are, which got a thumbs up from all three of us (yes, Will was laughing through many parts of the movie). Oh yeah, we also watched my stormchaser brother's Tornado Road show on The Weather Channel as the Atlanta Falcons beat the Chicago Bears in a close one. Busy, fun day.
So why the bummer title above? I've come to realize lately that I am turning into a parent. I've always realized this and worked hard to be a good parent, but as the boys get older, I notice myself saying things like, "Slow down," and, "Watch out," and, "Don't jump in that puddle," and so on. Of course, as a boy (and I'm still a boy at times), I was the one to speed up and take chances, especially if puddles were involved.
One of the more challenging aspects of being a parent (I think) is tiptoeing the fine line between protecting and stifling your children. One part of me wants all the boys to be ambitious, take chances and risks, and follow their passions (just like me!). Another part wants all the boys to never get hurt. It's totally unrealistic, but there it is: the parenting dilemma.
As a runner, I often pushed my body to the limits. In high school, I actually made myself pass out during repeats a few times. Even as a student in college and as a working stiff in the corporate setting, I've pushed my body to its limits by pulling all-nighters and trying to fit 25 hours into 24-hour days. But I realize that as a parent, I'd worry myself to death if my boys passed out or hospitalized themselves (as I did earlier this year).
My brother Simon (the stormchaser, AKA "crazy uncle Simon" to the boys) follows his passion, stormchasing, to the extremes. He's been in a building that was hit by a tornado; he was trapped in a police station in Slidell, LA, during Hurricane Katrina; and he's done so much more. I'm so proud of him, but I'm always afraid that one day a storm will claim his life.
So, it is with being a parent. You want to see your children reach out and wrestle the world to the ground, but you don't want to see them ever get knocked down. But they have to; it's the only way they'll ever learn to pick themselves back up.
Other news: November brings with it the 2nd annual November Poem-A-Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge. (Click here to learn more.)
Also, the Writer's Digest community is looking like a success so far. If you haven't yet, feel encouraged to join, friend me, and join some of the writing groups. It's free. (Click here to create an account.)