Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.
– Catherine M. Wallace
Well, our kids seem to be heading into the big conversations early. We’ve had a lot of conversations recently about adoption, identity, race, family, and different kinds of love. As kids grow into recognizing differences, these conversations will become more frequent and complex. We knew it was coming, but wow! When you’re ready for cupcakes and get steak, it’s disconcerting. At the same time, I’m so proud of them for raising the questions, observing the changes around themselves and in themselves, and asking for guidance. As to what we say in response, who knows?!
Tess pointed out this week that Sassy, my mom, continues to “tell me what to do.” I agree. But I’m also grateful! Who do you think helps me answer the tough questions when they ask?! So we’ve also talked about how parents are always parents. And how even parents make mistakes and keep learning.
So we will continue to respectfully discuss whether Rainbow Dash is a girl or a boy, but will be ready for the deeper themes as well. And ready or not, we’re moving into that next era of parenting, which I’ve been told is emotional well-being over physical. Figures. Just when we started getting the hang of that, they go and change it up on us.