I deal with this quite often in my life because I have extraordinarily high expectations.......... for myself, first and foremost. I intellectually understand that I can not and never will be perfect, but it doesn't stop me from trying. And I get very upset when I'm not. I expect the same from my husband, close friends, family, and now my sons. It makes their life hard, I know, but more than that it makes my life sort of miserable when I get caught up in it.
Enter last night. We were at our friends house having a fun Halloween get together with another family as well. The three older kids were all in school together last year (Declan, Blake and McKenzie) and my dear sweet Declan just played all by himself (and Blake's trains) for hours while Blake and Kenz had a make believe family they concocted and had a blast TOGETHER for hours. Ugh. Then when it was time to perhaps share the trains, Declan lost it.....and then again when it was time to leave.
This was bad for me on multiple levels. A) I get worried about Declan because he isn't the social butterfly that (this is going to sound bad yikes but just trying to be honest) I would like for him to be. Or any parent probably wants their kid to be. Who doesn't love a kid who lights up the room with his smile and personality and funny conversation with everyone. We have that in Carrig. But Declan is quite the opposite. I worry for him, that he's going to be a lonely little guy at school, all by himself because he's so internal. I want other kids to want to be friends with him, want to play and hang out because he's a fun guy. And he IS a fun guy, but gets so overwhelemd so easily in groups that he just goes inward almost immediately. And misses so much of the fun. At least that's how I saw it last night........and then I got to thinking.
Declan had fun. Aside from the two lovely little fits, he was happy playing by himself. Perfectly happy. He didn't care to have a pretend "baby" with Blake and Kenz. Not his thing. He just wanted to put a big train track together and get after it with the 489032 "new" trains that Blake has. He didn't feel left out in the slightest. I felt left out for him. And therein lies my issue. I want him to be something that he isn't and that's SO wrong. SO unfair to him. And to myself.
Letting your child be who he is is turning out to be fairly difficult for mommy...........if I've said it once I've said it a million times, Declan is so so so awesome and he is going to be awesome. So many of his personality traits are going to take him very far in life - and so many times I'm able to see that and look past the crazy he drives me to but last night was not one of those times. He is a shy guy, he is very internal, he is very stubborn, he is not influenced by other kids (an AWESOME trait) but socially it can be a little tough for me to watch. But again, I'm reminded that its not about me. Declan is happy. I should be happy.
Having high expectations isn't a bad thing. I'll never lower my expectations for myself or those close to me. Ain't happenin'. But I think I need to adjust them maybe??? And definitely adjust my reaction to when I or people that I love don't live up to said expectations. Otherwise..................mommy's gonna go crazy. Like I did last night and the large part of today worrying about him. I tell you, this parenting thing isn't getting any easier. Which leads me to my next thought........
My parents are amazing. As are Paul's. But I can only speak to mine here as I grew with them :) I have three little brothers and I honest to goodness do not remember a time where I felt pressured to be something different from THEM. Pressure from myself, sure. Pressure from a coach or friend or whoever, absolutely. But my parents? No. My brothers and I are all extraordinarily (if you know us you know how true this is) different and they, from the jump, have encouraged us and continue to encourage us to be who we are. I can look back and see times where my parents literally and figuratively shut their mouths and let us do things they didn't agree with necessarily and even to this day I will notice my mom or dad fighting to keep their mouth shut becasue they don't agree with something I've said or done. But they shut their mouths. They don't try to stifle my passionate tirades, they let me go :) They know that's me and as a child, which I still am, there's nothing greater than to have a parent who loves you and supports you. For you.
So that's my goal with Declan. Its gonna be a struggle I can tell. Not because something's wrong with him. Because I have visions and expectations in my head that aren't fair.......................so adjust, I must.
My guy: hang with me buddy..............you are a beautiful beautiful little soul: