One of the joys of fatherhood is hearing how great your kid is when he goes to preschool. You hear all the wonderful games they play, songs they learn, see the drawings, put them on the fridge. The flip side is that you also hear the “bad” things your kid does. Things like head butting the teacher, doesn’t share well, still in pull-ups, when angry doesn’t talk, not that I’m talking from experience or anything. The hardest thing to do is to not overreact when you hear the bad stuff. To not let your mind wonder… Have thoughts like “dear God, I’ve created a monster!” Or “great, destined to be THAT kid”.
The hardest part is deciding and deciphering what’s “normal” and what’s not. As parents we don’t want to interfere with the growing and learning process. That an only child who is 3yrs old… Guess what… It’s normal that he doesn’t share well. Or that when he gets mad he doesn’t verbalize it. Hell, I know at least a dozen adults who don’t verbalize when they are mad. Stuff like this is normal. Toby broke the head off of a action figure the other night. I thought to myself “great… Serial killer”. Then he was ok with it because he made the action figure into a zombie. The action figure is now called “farmer zombie”. He loves the thing.
I’ve had a ton of discussions with friends over the past week or so about what’s normal. I have friends that are going through break ups. Anger, frustration, sadness. All normal. I have friends that are realizing their childhood, may have messed them up a little bit. That they feel insecure, regret, tentative, sad. Still normal. I think too often as humans we think we are “special”. Not in a “aww you’re special” like your mom use to say. But special in the fact that we think we are the only ones that feel this way or that way. We’re the only ones who are insecure. Depressed. Sad. Angry. Honestly, in today’s day in age if you don’t have these type of feelings or thoughts, I would call you abnormal.
Here’s another trap, we look at others and think “man they got it together, they seem so happy”. Bullshit. There is a lady that I know that comes off so happy that honestly is down right annoying at times. The thing is, in an honest moment I bet she would tell you that she struggles with the same type of thoughts and feelings. Just like when we hear bad news about our kid, the hardest thing to do is to not overreact. To recognize that much of what’s going on is normal. That you aren’t alone.
One of the things I’ve appreciated about blogging is that others read and comment. You get to explore other blogs. The best part of blogs is anonymity, this allows people to a chance to really express themselves. You get to see that the stuff you think about and feel, others do as well. That it’s not just you that struggles with this or that, in fact it’s actually quite normal.