I remember when I was dreaming of what it would be like when I started a family. I thought about what that would look like when they were little. It was romantic with a bit of reality mixed in. It included cleaning the mess from the kids having too much fun in the tub, watching my dedicated husband teach the kids about football, and reading bedtime stories in all the funny voices.
I forgot to dream of what that family looked like as we all got older. I didn’t think about the laugh lines my husband and I would share around our eyes and mouth or the early Saturday mornings we’d be piling into the mini van for a soccer tournament. I had no idea that my kids could trigger so many emotions and so deeply. I knew I would love these kids like no other on the planet but there are other emotions that I did not expect. This includes but certainly not limited to parternal pride, fear, protectiveness, and indicisiveness. It’s all a bit overwhelming.
I had no idea that working with families with older kids–who have been doing this “parenting thing” a bit longer than I have–would give me such a sense that everything will be okay! It has given me new dreams as to what my family may look like. It is possible to raise teens that are polite to adults and love each other (to a point, haha!); that are confident and accept that they need guidence; that have their own interests and are independent thinkers. I know that my dream and it may be completley unrealistic–as unrealistic as an calm morning before school starts. But I saw it. I saw it in this family and it reminded me that it is possible to raise my kids this way.
Now don’t go a pop my bubble. I taught junior high and high school for 3 years. I have stories. Let me dream and the kids, whoever they end up to be, will be just fine.