My sister and I are sitting in the front seat of our Marc III conversion van. We are young and bored, waiting for our parents to come back from inside the house. As small children, our cheeks are rosy and our hair is silk. We also wear matching outfits, because that’s how my mom liked to dress us. Though we were two years apart, we were practically twins, always competing for attention.
Sitting in the front seat, my sister pretends like she’s driving. Jerking the wheel back and forth, she laughs at the thought of commanding the road. Nervously, I tell her to stop. It’s too late. She managed to pull the gear into drive and slowly, we roll like molasses down the driveway. I see my parents from the front porch. Their mouths are agape and they don’t know what to do. We scream with fear, but firmly, my sister takes the wheel in her hands. With no other option but to drive, she pulls out into the road and we go.
I wake up.
(Repeat this scene in my next dream sequence.)
In high school, I used to enjoy drawing. I was not good enough to get paid for it, but I always felt deep satisfaction when a portrait took shape.
This one was from my introspective sullen days when I strived to be perfect intellectually, physically, in relationships, and really in every area of my life. It’s not that different from now, even 18 years later.
Being flawless is hard. No one can really achieve it. Magazines, advertisements, and even people in our lives that we love and respect will remind us that our bodies are inadequate, our jobs aren’t respectable enough, or that we don’t have it all. It can feel a bit depressing. I’m so relieved that Christ covers all our imperfections. We are loved and sought after. We are His quest. Being reminded of this is satisfying to my soul.
Folks, we live in the age of over parenting and control. Overparenting, though done with the best interests, is really a sign of distrust. We distrust that God has control, so we marshal it ourselves. We become the overly involved tyrant parent that every teacher loves and hates at the same time. Emails, phone calls, suggestions, comments–we find a way to make sure our voices are heard and that we advocate for our children. There’s a place for this, no doubt.
I have written my fair share of emails to teachers–“Don’t you think my daughter should…” “My son mentioned x…perhaps…”
I apologize in hindsight. There’s a place for advocating. In many cases, it’s the only way some kids can get the services and attention they need. However, when advocating becomes our daily battle-cry, perhaps we should take a step back and see it’s in the child’s long-term interest. Are we allowing kids opportunities to learn from each experience? Or are we setting them up to be entitled adults? Because you know, that’s a real thing.