Helicopter parents – not us!

Chittagong, Bangladesh

Chittagong, Bangladesh

We’re not helicopter parents.  Oh no, not us.

When my 27 year old son recently left for Bangladesh to volunteer in an orphanage for three months, my husband and I drove him to the airport.  My husband dropped us off at the departure gate while he parked the car.

My son and I busied ourselves getting the suitcases on a trolley and then sailed into the airport so he could check his baggage.  I clucked around a stand filling out lost suitcase forms for him and when my husband arrived he wanted to know if our son would like him to accompany him to the check-in desk.  My son shrugged his shoulders and indicated that would be fine, thought the better of it, and refused his offer. Read More

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Far from the Tree – loving your different child

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The imperfect is our paradise.

Note that in this bitterness delight,

Since the imperfect is so hot in us,

Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.

                                       —Wallace Stevens

                                           “The Poems of Our Climate”

All parents have to learn to accept and love their children for who they are and not what they want them to be.

This lesson comes that much sooner and harder for parents of children who are significantly different than they are. In their cases, the apple, or child, falls from the tree.

Andrew Solomon‘s recent book  “Far from the Tree”, describes situations that could cause major disappointment and regret– kids who have schizophrenia, autism, down syndrome, dwarfism, and other disabilities, as well as children of rape, who are prodigies, who are transgender and who commit crimes. Solomon is interested in how these parents come to love their children. Read More