Parenting: Doing the best you can

We were sitting on a restaurant patio and there he was looking all NOT LITTLE anymore. He’s a senior this year and now is the point at which I have to really start reflecting on whether I did everything to the best of my abilities these last 17 years.

I’ve parented with the philosophy that I will do the best I can with the information I have at the time. And man…

did I start out with very little information. What’s that they say? Babies should come with instruction manuals. He sure didn’t. Everything I thought I knew about LIFE was very different when he came along (I didn’t know that some people didn’t like to be excitedly praised, did you?).

This time next year, he will likely be living in the dorms. He will get to decide who he is going to hang out with and who he won’t. He will decide when his own curfew is. He will decide whether or not to wait til the last minute to do his paper or study for his test. He will decide if he is going to have junk food all day long every day, or if he will mix it up and throw in a piece of fruit now and then. He will be responsible for his choices.

When he was a pre-schooler, I worked for a high school. Every Friday, the principal would make the morning announcements and end with “Good choices make good things happen, bad choices make bad things happen.” We started using that phrase regularly in our house…. Most often shortened to “Make good choices!” I hope that has stuck in his head. But at least I know, I have done the best that I can do with the information that I have at this time, and now, it is almost his turn to do the same.

Lunch was nice. We talked about life. Tattoos. Karens. Bad restaurant customers. I made him promise me that we would meet for lunch and talk more about life when he goes off to college.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

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