A Sheltered Life
Every so often I realise just how fast my Munchkins are growing up.
It’s not hard to be reminded, as they come and measure themselves against my body or as they show their new skills learnt at school, day care or purely through practice at home. Barely a day goes by when I’m not in awe of, and shocked by, them. The things they know and understand and by the ways they have changed.
I lament the passing of time while relishing these amazing new abilities and the development of their beautiful, very unique personalities.
Last week, though, I got a real glimpse of just how fast our kids are growing up these days.
I was helping in Ellie’s class and, as I helped with paint, tape and paddle pop sticks I listened to four children talk about TV shows, movies and concepts that I would consider much too old for them. I was shocked at the frank discussion and language as they tried to out do each other with just how ‘grown up’ they were.
Not that long ago
It was confronting for me. It made me realise that, while my kids are growing up fast, they’re not quite growing up that fast. I don’t want them to be watching horror and discussing members of the opposite sex in ways other than mere friends. Not yet.
At the same time, I worry about just how sheltered my children are compared to so many others. I didn’t really think they were until recently. Not really, I mean, we are careful but compared to when I was a growing up it’s nothing.
There are lots of things I am noticing about other children now that my guys are at school. Things like, other kids thinking that my kids will have watched superhero movies because they love to dress up as Iron Man, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Honestly, as far as Jasper is concerned, superheroes are there to help people – not hurt, even ‘baddies’ – and I don’t see any reason for any of them to see those movies or even the cartoons yet.
They have never asked to, either. They are blissfully unaware.
But, for how long? How long can Ellie sit with a group of children and not want to seem grown up too? Am I holding them back and leading them to a place of teasing and bullying by wanting them to remain children for as long as they can?
I have to admit to feeling relieved since that morning when I’ve seen Ellie running around playing while these other children sit in the yard and chat like they’re already bored teens. With attitude (don’t worry, Ellie has plenty of THAT, too).
I figure I have plenty of that ahead of me. Now is for running and playing and laughing. Being silly and trying cart wheels. At least that’s what I think.
But, honestly, where’s the line? How grown up is too grown up at 6, 7 and 8? And how sheltered is too sheltered at the same age?
This parenting gig is hard and they grow up too fast. I don’t like the idea of it going faster.
Linking up with Jess for #ibot