There’s a danger, when you have children, to try to have a second go at life through them. To have them do the things you wish you could have done, to be able to glory in their achievements secondhand.
It doesn’t work. Our children’s lives are their own, and we triumph most when we support them to be themselves, not live as pale shadows of us.
There’s another thing though I think all parents do, and that is to try to save our children from the mistakes we feel we made. This I think can have variable success. It only works here when I explain precisely how whatever it was went wrong for me, in brutal and embarrassing detail. So I get to relive the mistake in all its humiliating glory in order to prevent repetition. The things I do for my offspring.
Right at the moment things are going surprisingly well. We are being open and honest and negotiating what we all need from each other. We’ve devised a new system to help with the housework as shown here.
Yes, it is a wall covered with post its. Each one has a job on it, they all start on the left and get moved to whoever’s name did it on the right. High tech, I know, but whatever works. And big has started a new website to document what she’s learning about tech.
If this means that we can’t always do everything we had hoped, I guess that is the sacrifice we make. So we’ve annoyed that we are, communally, too tired to travel tomorrow, but we’ll find some way to make it up to our friends and we’re the better for confronting the difficulty.
We are learning.