It’s only Wednesday and I have already experienced extremes in the continuum of emotions related to being a parent.
On Monday, I had a lovely conversation with a fellow music therapist who recently watched her 20-something daughter perform in a professionally-produced play. This was the yang—the excitement and wonder of envisioning the possibilities for my children and what they can become.
On Tuesday, I watched the movie Traffic. Watching teenagers experimenting and getting addicted to drugs . . . well, that was the yin, the scariness of the choices my children will have to make and hoping that I am laying a strong-enough foundation for them to make responsible ones.
But these yins and yangs aren’t even the interesting part! I think this is a pretty typical experience for most parents. No, the interesting part to me was that I wasn’t even envisioning the possibilities for my children until recently.
It’s really only been in the past year that I find myself seriously thinking about who my children might and could become. This may be in part due to the fact that we are out of the toddler phase. Up until then, it was all about what’s needed in the moment or for that day. Naps, feedings, diapering, potty-training, bathes . . . it was like being in the moment was more necessary during this period and this reality didn’t leave much room for imagining the future.
The other factor may be that my children are starting to exhibit their own interests, personalities, and talents. It’s not really that they’re starting to exhibit them . . . many of these have been showing for a couple of years. It’s more that as they gain more independence, these interests, personalities, and talents are becoming more pronounced. It’s getting easier to imagine what these little people might be like as big people.
So what are your thoughts? Do you or have you had some of these experiences and ponderings as well?