bryan and i had a long talk recently about our game plan. the parenting game plan. the one we thought we wouldn't really need until our daughter is closer to puberty/sixth grade/later? it dawned on me that perhaps we don't have as much time as i would like to think to prepare our children for the world at hand. that perhaps, by the age of seven, she might be in a world that expects her to navigate paths we haven't given her the right shoes for. we see personality traits in her, at the tender age of four, that indicate she feels things on a visceral level. she is guided by emotion (as are most children, but she more than most.) i am guided by emotion. i was a sensitive kid. bryan was a sensitive kid. and we both remember the coping mechanisms we employed to survive. i remember almost everything from when i was a young child. he does not.
these are coping strategies, too, i believe.
my mom was at our home, we were eating breakfast. we were talking about how the world was so different when we were young. we were latch key kids, walking home alone with a key literally on a shoelace around my neck. my mom told a story of how i was supposed to walk myself to the bus stop for school in the morning. i called her one morning in tears because a group of boys wouldn't let me on the bus. wouldn't let me on the bus. i went home, crying, and called my mom. i don't remember this at all.
i was seven.
bryan and i lay in the dark, on our backs. the baby is asleep next to us. finn is asleep in her room, assured that she is safe, that we are always going to be here. we know this might not be true. that life is full of moments that change everything. full of instances where we learn our coping strategies. busses we aren't allowed to board. and we both know that our children are growing up in an age with dangers we know little to nothing about. that we are entering a battlefield we do not understand. that it only gets harder from here. that the biggest difference we can make is right now. every. day.
to remember that love is a verb.