Ever since my daughters were little, I would try to picture what our lives would be like sometime down the road, at different ages and stages. This is pretty much impossible to do, though, isn’t it? What do we have to go on other than our children’s temperaments, and what other people tell us it will be like? I have noticed that I focus more on the latter, and I think this is a misguided way of anticipating the future. It’s even possible that by assuming my experience will be like what I have seen other people go through (or worse, on t.v. or movies), I may duplicate that experience. Does that make sense? For example, it’s widely assumed that teenagers are a royal pain in the ass – that it is just a stage parents hope to get through. We expect that it will be difficult because we have seen countless examples of it in entertainment, and we are just led to believe it. If we expect this, isn’t it more likely to be our experience of our own children? Why not enter the stage (and all stages) with an open mind, or even expecting that it will be a breeze? Is this just naive?
It’s just like the “terrible twos”; I expected that stage to be difficult, because many people said it would be (and it’s kind of implied by “terrible”). But really, once I understood that children at this stage have tantrums for a good reason (tired, hungry, getting sick), it was probably easier to get through them and enjoy the amazing things about that stage. Or maybe I am just blissfully forgetful because my kids are older now. In any case, my goal is to enjoy my children at all stages. They are growing so quickly, it’s blowing my mind. I still have my old diaries from my teen years, just in case I need some perspective!