Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I'm not really your friend... yet.
We browsed a bit, picked out a couple of books and a calendar book for my purse as I find I'm having a harder and harder time of keeping track of who is supposed to be where and when these days. Thank goodness I only have one kid to keep track of!!!
We also split a sandwich and a small coffeecake at the snack bar. He was feeling terribly pleased with our outing as we started the walk back out of the mall to our car. Feeling pleased usually means he starts to feel chatty too, and brings up things he wouldn't normally.
"My social studies teacher said something really weird a couple of days ago," he started. I looked at him and raised my eyebrow indicating that he should continue. "He said that he was not my friend and that my parents weren't my friends. His job was to be my teacher and teach me and my parents job was to raise me. Isn't that weird?"
I laughed and told him that wasn't weird at all... in fact, it was the truth.
"What? But you and Dad are my best friends! We have fun together. I'd rather be with you guys than anyone else! Why can't you be my friends?"
I thought how best to answer him for a minute. What I said went something like this... "Mr. B is right. Your dad and I are parents first and friends farther down the line. We love you. We created you. And it's our job to raise you to be the best person you can be. When there's a decision to be made, we make the one that is the most responsible in terms of taking care of your body, your mind and your soul. Friends don't always make decisions that way. Sometimes they go with what's the most fun. Or what they think they can get away with. If your friends wanted to pile into a little red wagon and go careening down a big hill, that might be fun. It might also kill you. If you asked your friends they'd say go for it. If you asked me and Dad, we'd say no way and try to explain to you why. You might not always like our decisions, but they are made with the best intentions for your safety at the heart of them. This will ALWAYS be true, even when you think we just don't want you to have any fun. And we make those decisions because we are your parents and we love you. We can be friends later, after you've grown up and are capable of truly taking care of yourself. But for now, that's our job and we take it seriously."
He nodded when I finished. Then he hugged me and said thanks. And that he'd try to remember that when we say no when he really wants us to say yes.
I really love how he gets it sometimes!!!!