Recently, my book club read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and it's done wonders for my parenting. In this book, Ms. Walls describes some wild adventures her family embarks upon with an alcoholic father and a schizophrenic mother at the helm. It's not a "poor me" book at all, but more of a,"Hey, this happened. I mean, it did happen, right?" sort of book. The siblings were often left to dumpster diving for the next meal because her artistic mom was following some creative flow and her scheming dad couldn't be bothered with the day-to-day business of kids. In no way am I becoming an advocate for neglect, but my point is this: kids are amazingly resillient. In my brain's daily chatter about doing not enough, too much, right or wrong, I do think now," Well, Jeanette Walls made it out ok." Of course, Ms. Walls is not recommending this wild sort of parenting, and, in fact, has made a conscious choice not to be a parent herself (shocking, right?). But...I could lock myself in my bedroom for three days and sleep through field trips and piano lessons, and I am sure all would be fine. Oh, I might get a few knocks on the door. A few friends would probably stop by, and of course the husband would wonder about the ensuing mess and lack of warm meals. I would become furious that my plan to be left alone has failed miserably. By this point cereal boxes would rattle and computer games would be played, and it's likely no one would get hurt. So my mantra for this week is relax, missy. If my bar gets set a little lower occasionally, chances are it'll be fine.
Posted by Lisa Gray