Monday, August 20, 2007

Us and Our Parents

Why are we so different from our parents?

I was just reviewing my childhood summercamp, and looking forward to next summer when Daughter A will be old enough (in my estimation) to spend the summer there: and I am so deeply excited for her that tears come to my eyes. I even look forward to Parents' Day, so that she can take me sailing.

Was it this way for MY parents? I don't think so. My depression-era father and cold-war mother were much when I was a child (the irony being that my mother has regressed; my father, of course, is dead). They did not scamper about excitedly showing me what they had done as youths; they did not ask me to include them in my adventures. Not a criticism: the hands-off style of my parents was better than the helicopter-hover we see too much of today. With my own children, even though they are free to fail, I still must consciously construct (and maintain) an easy-going attitude--one that can encompass the sending of a pre-adolescent girl away from her family for a month (believe me, she'll be thrilled).

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