Friday, December 7, 2007
ACCOMODATING VS. ENABLING
We had a special guest appearance by Jim (who describes himself as a beer-guzzling, couch potato) this week on the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle...it's amazing what a shot of testosterone can do to a support group made up of predominantly women undoubtedly in a period of their lives where they're "Bringin' Sexy Back!" I swear some of the generally calm, wise and stoic support moms were GIDDY! And I finally gathered the courage to approach the topic of "SEX" on the group where in the eight months that I have been a proud member, never once has the word been uttered, except in reference to gender. I mean do you ever go out with your girlfriends and not talk about sex, kids, the latest town gossip, what you're cooking for dinner and sex? (Note:not sure if this is an Italian housewife thing, but the majority of the conversations women have while waiting to pick up their kids from school is about what they have ALREADY PREPARED for lunch!!! This alone should have been an indication for me to pack my bags and run to the closest airport, unfortunately, I didn't know Italian well enough in the beginning to understand that life here revolves around the pasta sauce of the day. Here I am and here I will stay.)(Note #2: The majority of people wash their clothes in a washing machine and then hang them dry...I told my husband I wasn't comin' unless there was a dishwasher and a dryer in the house!)
I'm totally digressing! The point of all this was supposed to be Jim's post. His was a reply to what I wrote in the last blog about what Jordan's Math teacher said to me about backing off. Jim wrote...
Jodi - you can say whatever you want (this was in reference to the word SEX). What are we going to do to you - visit you in freakin' Tuscany to complain??? (Wait -what a great idea...!)
The most important thing, though, is the "letting go" comment. That's the
thing that parents, regardless of a child's disability, constantly struggle
with. Testosterone-poisoned partners usually have a different level of
tolerance than the other one... I don't want to go into a huge monologue, so
I won't, but kids need to have the freedom to fail (make mistakes), as well
as the opportunity to problem-solve. It's a hard juggling act to separate
what's needed at school, for example, and what's the best, in the long run,
for the child.
Mom-speak: "Driveway is icy. Kid, stay in the car, I'm going to go get some
salt and tell Daddy to carry you in so you won't fall and hurt yourself."
Dad-speak: "Driveway is icy. Be careful. Don't fall and break your ass."
Kid-speak: "Oh, can I ice-skate? Will you hold my hand so I won't
break my ass?"
True report from yesterday. SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) gave me hell,
but we skated safely to the door. Probably something in between the extremes
is the best answer!
(At work most every day, college students come in to see academic advisers
with their parents, who make all the course decisions for the students.
Wassup wit dat?? I expect my son to be able to make decisions and to deal
with his deafness from a position of strength - himself - when he's grown.)
Gotta love a man who calls his wife SWMBO! Then, just now, he added another touch of genius in his own poetic way:
As a dad, the best I can hope to do is to give my son a bat and a pair of
balls, point him at the plate, and get the hell out of his way so he can
take his cuts.
We all know I'm a baseball fan!