Some of my favorite parenting moments are the quiet ones. The ones when I casually observe from the sidelines. I never plan to do it. It always just happens. An unexpected and welcome diversion from my day. Sometimes they will just catch my eye and suddenly, I'm thrown off my path. My path of getting things done and making progress. Sometimes that path becomes a groove in which I get stuck, and I forget to take a diversion. Then, something they do reminds me, in a quiet and gentle way, that paths are really over rated. And progress doesn't always look like you think it will.
I'm always amazed. Same parents, same environment, same opportunities....it all produces such different kids.
Each unique in their own interests, their approach to life, and the way they respond to their surroundings. I'm drawn to imaginary play like a moth to a flame. I love to just watch. And listen. And wonder where all the ideas and sayings come from. I like watching the plan unfold.
It would be easier if we could parent them all the same. If there was one magic answer. If I had a formula for "what works". But what fun would that be after all?
How do they learn orderliness? Creativity? How do they know to blend the two? A method emerges, and it becomes more and more obvious that they are individuals. They have a purpose.
I spend so much time directing our day. Being in charge. Reminding, asking, assigning, directing, corrective, deciding.
Makes me tired. And I wonder if they are learning a darn thing.
Then I sit back and watch. Silent. And I am the one who learns.
Parenting can be quiet. It can be a spectator sport.
Because sometimes watching them learn is better than teaching them the answers.