I often hear the expression “the road less traveled.”
I’ve taken that road. I’ve taken side roads off of that road. I’ve wondered in the woods off of what look like animal paths, or the steps of long-lost tribes. I’ve come to dead ends in box canyons and watched the flash floods come in.
Behind me are things that I choose not to think of because they are things that no longer concern me, or need my emotional energy.
With me I have taken the good things that are near and dear to me. I have taken the things that bring me joy, or make me laugh, or that are actually useful. I have taken the love. I have left the hate behind. Forgiveness? Not so much but since I don’t think about it I don’t care.
When we have kids we need to look hard at our own experiences. Yes, we want our kids to explore and learn that life isn’t always easy, but we don’t want to send them off floundering in a stormy sea without a life jacket.
Sometimes we’re all alone, and sometimes we are with those we love. Sometimes we’re with people we don’t love. And with any luck we’ll be on that road with dogs, and others who aren’t exactly like us, but help us keep our calm and sense of meaning.
Over protecting them will only make life more difficult for them. On the other hand, throwing them out to the wolves as soon as they turn eighteen won’t make the strong. It will make them resentful and abandoned.
From the time they are born, until the day you die, you need to learn from your mistakes, so that you might teach them not to make the same mistakes. Don’t let them believe that what was good enough for you is good enough for them.
They are your children. They are your future. They are the future of all of us.
Let them take the road they choose, but at least give them a car that runs, and tell them to change the oil occasionally. They might drive fast, but hopefully not recklessly.
Learn from your own mistakes. Don’t dwell on those mistakes, but teach your children so that they don’t do the same. It isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is talk to them. All you have to do is teach them to be smart. Teach them caution. Teach them to be skeptics. Teach them to do research. And even if your child is not a born leader, teach your child not to be a follower.
The road less traveled is filled with pot holes, but so are all roads. Nothing is smooth. Everyone who has fallen on asphalt knows that.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman