She was a child… last time I looked!
The child now looks like a teen…, well kind of. The legs are longer, and secondary pubescent signs are apparent. But, she still looks kind of childish to me as well. The longing eyes when she says “I don’t get this Math, I can’t do it… can you help me?”, or “Can we go to the art store for some colored pencils?”, “Are you coming to my horse show this weekend?”…seem to be an anchor that lets me know – – we are not ready to let go yet!.
Oh, boy and based on some other comments I’ve received, I’ve got some real work ahead of me!, before we’re off to “C-O-L-L-E-G-E. On the way to our first steady baby sitting “gig”, my daughter turned to me and said “so I’m going straight from school?, What’s the number of their house? I’m going to unlock the lock box, and take out the key and let myself in? – Dad how do I cross the road, chuckle, chuckle,”…But not really completely joking ……as she proceeds to write the house number, and the lock box combo, in marker, on her hand!
How could I have failed so completely!?…She really wasn’t sure how the process of crossing the road should go, ugh! I quickly said to myself, “This isn’t me, or my parenting, this is societal… you don’t have to have been a complete “helicopter parent” to have driven your child virtually everywhere over their 14year life to date!”…. So I calmly said, “Well, you realize the before you cross any kind of road you’ve got to look both ways! “ Whew, realizing that this was the cogent point that countless dollars of public service announcements I had been subjected to in the ‘60’s, were trying to get across – – I moved on to the more “controversial” and decidedly less clear, “CROSS WALK subtitled: electric signs, topic:-). I decided to take the path less traveled!, a risk it was clear. But, considering I had been a rule breaker in this regard…..I jumped off. “OK”, I started. “First of all those electric cross walk signs were just one of those ill-conceived bureaucratic inventions, that have our best interests at heart, but that never should have been installed. There isn’t a person on God’s Green Earth that can honestly say they know for sure, when to cross or when to wait by watching either the palms up hand (“How!” if you were in a politically incorrect John Wayne movie with Indians :)), the animated walking person or the all important count down timer!. No. You should just use you intuition instead, and …. you guessed it… look both ways and decide yourself whether it is safe to cross or not!”
There I did it. I “dissed” one of societies most accepted conventions over the last 30 years. However, I feel good about it. After all how many baffled people have you seen waiting on the curb of an intersection, for what seems like days, while waiting for the signal to cross…. without a bloody car within miles around in any direction on the compass. I rest my case.