Football and parenting?


I am back sooner this time. My motivation comes again from my daughter and her words of wisdom sent back to me yesterday during our afternoon phone conversation. Actually, her words of wisdom were directed to me through her father as they were chatting and in good fun, teasing me. I have become a quasi crazy Texas Longhorns football fan. I like basketball also, but to the amusement of most of my family, I am truly a committed Longhorn football fan. I would guess that even my son, who actually went to The University of Texas, and is a texas graduate, is amused by the level of fan-hood I have achieved!
My husband actually says he believes I would run off with Mack Brown, Texas' head football coach, if the opportunity presented itself. Not true, but entertaining.

Thus, it is time for my story. On Saturday the Texas Longhorns lost their second game of the season. That is not good! I have been conditioned over the past 4 year when my son attended UT, to expect them to win, and win well every time, even in close hard games. Well, this year it seems, is not going to be like that. In Sports terms, this is a "rebuilding year." So, why am I even talking about all of this???? What does this even have to do with the concept of parents and parenting??? Here is the connection. As my daughter, Megan, and I were talking I was lamenting, well actually whining about the state of this year's Longhorn football team and it's struggles. Megan, through her father, asked him to remind me of this, "Mom, cherish your children for who they are, not for who you want them to be." AH HA! She used one of my own lines back on me. Now, of course the Texas Longhorn football players are not my children, but, to me the crazed fan, I laughed! Of course perspective is always necessary!

So I started thinking. When you love something, or someone, it is hard to accept struggles and struggling. You want to fix it you want to offer advice you want to provide solutions. Thus my Texas Longhorns and parenting. A lesson again to think about. As we become parents and experience all that happens because of it, we although most often well intentioned, may loose sight of what is the end goal in this whole parenting and being a parent thing. Along the way it can be easy to get lost in the ideas, dreams, and goals we have for our kids. These well meaning and well intentioned thoughts, can actually become a problem in the process if we forget what the whole goal is. I think one of the most important goals of good parenting is to of course, "Cherish your children for who they are, not for who you want them to be." (As Megan well reminded me of ... in my love for the Longhorns!)

The ability to take yourself out of the design process of parenting is hard, but necessary in order to help your children become who they are suppose to be and who I truly believe, they are meant to be. In the process of bringing home baby, raising toddlers, moving onto elementary school, junior high, high school, college and beyond, it is the fully formed parent that can remove themselves from the identity of their children. I, honestly, keep working on that! It is of course fabulous and wonderful when your kids do well, and become accomplished adults. We want to congratulate ourselves and be proud of who are children have become! I think all of that is right, and good, and even justified, but...always remember that our ultimate job as parents is to provide the right type of environment and setting that encourages and embraces what is important and fulfilling to our children. Children, although always part of us, are not meant to be created in our image. Good parents need to always be thinking about what their kids need in order to become the best example of themselves. It is the wise and intelligent parent who can continue to evolve and adjust through each stage of their child's development. The parent who can see what is needed at each stage, and sometimes even find the right resource to help them do that. I have said in the past that I have a wise psychologist that I have the pleasure of consulting in my own path of evolving as a parent. Her advice is the same for every stage of parenting. Know your children, see what is needed, adjust and evolve accordingly!

Well, there you have it. My words of my perceived wisdom this week! A lesson to myself via my daughter. Remember to always cherish your children for who they are, not for what you want them to be. Loving someone unconditionally requires that. I guess that may even have to apply to my loved, yet struggling Texas Longhons!!

Until next time!