I had an entirely different post planned for today. One that included my newest obsession with using web tools to put faces on different bodies. Mostly of my favorite pets doing human activities.
But for now that has to wait.
I’ve blogged before about what scares me about parenting, and, as a childless woman, I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent. I don’t claim to know and I’m not exactly at the point in my life where I’m eager to find out. God bless all you parents out there and God bless birth control.
That being said, I know what it’s like to have a good parent. A present parent. A parent that cares. And most importantly, a parent that knows what it’s like to raise a child alone.
|Cat’s outta the bag, I think my mom is pretty much the bee’s knees, cat’s pajamas, cream of the crop…how many idioms can I fit in one sentence?|
And not to brag, but I like to think I turned out pretty okay.
Yesterday as I was enjoying coffee watching the sunrise, a vacationing family had gathered adjacent to where I was sitting. Two parents and one 7 year-old. For full disclosure, I only know he was 7, because I could hear them talking about birthday parties and pinatas and we live in a resort complex, thus I know they were on vacation.
The parents were holding hands, sipping coffee, and watching as the Hawaiian sky painted yellows, reds, and pinks across the landscapes of palm trees and ocean. Completely entranced in one another, the beauty of nature, and being in the moment. And behind them, about 10 yards away, is their son using both an iPhone and an iPad–completely oblivious to his parents or surroundings.
Now tell me, is there something wrong with this picture or is it just me?
I get that parenting can sometimes be hard, frustrating, and draining. I understand that sometimes a distraction is necessary for parents to get household chores done or phone calls made, or heck, just to be able to take a shower. I get that, I do.
But what about those other times? When time isn’t of the essence and parents DO have the patience and energy to be present?
I don’t get parents that use technology to rob their children of quality time they could be spending together. The parents who would rather shove an iPhone app in front of their child’s face than take the time to do flashcards with them. The parents who would sooner put on an iPad video to “stimulate learning” (or whatever hogwash is written to sell more videos) than use that time to practice spelling words or use imaginations to play a made-up game. And worst of all, the parents who think buying material goods for their child is going to earn them more love or respect.
Take it from a girl who has a parent like that and all I can tell you is–it’s sad and pathetic in the long run.
The reality is that no child is ever going to remember the time they spent watching a video alone, or that on some random Saturday their mom/dad/legal guardian bought them a new purse.
What they ARE going to remember when you’re long gone and buried are the memories you made every summer on your family vacation digging up fake mermaids on a deserted beach, or the week you spent making up silly songs to remember all your spelling words.
And that time spent is something you can’t put a price-tag on. Again, I raise my glass to every parent, because you’re out there doing something I’m TERRIFIED to even take part in.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”