Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Just Want Them To Be Happy.

I would like to think that I will be able to handle anything my children want to do, be, or believe.  (I am using the Oxford comma intentionally.  Suck it.)  If they want mohawks and nose-rings, fine.  Hair grows back and most holes close.  If they want to wear Letterman jackets and do chest bumps, fine.  I can attend umpteen million varsity games and pretend not to be annoyed by the cheerleaders.  If they want to be cheerleaders, fine.  I can pretend to not be annoyed by them and will learn to love the weird head bob.  Currently, the only thing I can think of that would piss me off- so of course this is what will happen- is if they come home asking to tote guns everywhere while screaming slurs and tattooing swastikas on their sweet little bodies.  That is going too far.

I think about all the things that my husband and friends and I were discouraged from.  All the things our parents sneered at and judged.  All the ways in which we felt inferior and less than.  I fear that we will do the same to our babies, despite our best intentions.  I don't ever want my boys to feel like they have to "man up" or be better than a 4.0.  I don't want them to try to fit some mold that wasn't built for them.  I want them to be happy.  To appreciate the gifts they have and to enjoy the things they love.  But I know I will push them.  I know that, out of fear, I will probably drive them to be sensible and to do the things that will provide back-up if their dreams aren't fulfilled.  What if they love to sing, but can't carry a tune?  What if they yearn to play baseball, but can't throw past first base?  What if they want to be an aerospace engineer, but aren't great at math?  Then what?  Do I tell them they can do whatever they want to do, or do I try to reason with them and tell them that, although they have a deep love for acting, the fact that they are unwilling to do so in front of an audience will likely hold them back?

I really do want them to be happy.  I want them to know that they are capable of so much and that I believe in them.  I want them to have faith in my faith in them.  But I know they won't.  I know that at some point I'll do something to break their little spirits... and that kills me.  I just hope that before that happens, I can convince them that it's okay if they want to dress like David Bowie or Prince.  That I honestly don't care if they have boyfriends or girlfriends.  That if they want to go to church, or never to go church, it's fine.  That they CAN be break-dancing, fire-fighting, ukulele-playing, geniuses if they really want to be.  And that I will love them and support them no matter what.