Prepare The Child For The Road
My daughter wanted egg salad for lunch today so I am making it now before she gets up for school. Not too hard- boil the eggs, take off the shells, mix in the mayo and presto!- egg salad. If it is not hard, why is she not doing it? I know she can make it, I have seen her do it before. Her cooking skills may be better than mine. I have seen her bake cookies, brownies, bread, things that would be an effort for me.
I heard the phrase recently “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.” Am I preparing my kids for the road ahead? Am I doing too much for them? What can I do to help them do things on their own? These are all things that tend to take up space in my head. I work hard to try not to let them take up too much space but they are always there somewhere.
Sometimes when I come into these questions, I look back at me when I was their age. What was I doing then? I played varsity sports in high school. That may have prepared me for the road a bit. I had to learn the discipline of practice. I had to learn to win and lose with grace-a struggle for the winners and losers both. I learned how to exist in a team setting and how to encourage each other and work together. Even though I was on the teams, I did not get a whole lot of playing time so that taught me humility- I was not as good as I thought I was. And it was not the coach’s fault that I was not playing, it was my own talent level and the amount of effort I did or did not put out.
I also had various jobs that taught me things similar to sports. The value of working hard. Making sure to show up on time and being dependable to the other people I worked with. I had to learn about money and make sure I didn’t spend it all on baseball cards and candy. I don’t remember much about any of the jobs but I do remember when I caddying at the Warwick Country Club. I liked being outside while I was working. I also remember part of the golf course looking out over Narragansett Bay which was cool.
Anyway, my eggs are about boiled so I better finish making the egg salad. I am not going to actually make her lunch, she is going to have to put the sandwich together and whatever else she wants to have to go along with that. Hopefully that will help prepare her for the road ahead.