I am my children's protector, the protector of their virtue and true selves. I am their cheerleader. I am their disciplinarian. I am their dose of the real world. I am their comforter and home nest. I will be a wall, a shield for them when need be.
Protector of their virtue (defined as the quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness). To me that means upholding what I expect of them. I expect them to develop and find empathy for others, for the world. I expect them to choose the right path, even when narrow and hard and unpopular. Root for the underdog. And when I think of virtue I also think of their self worth. I want them to see themselves and project themselves to the world as immensely valuable. They are.
Protector of their true selves. This is where I need to let go of my expectations and cheer them on as they are, just as they are, no different.
And parenting isn't all sunshine as roses, right? So I discipline. I am the main disciplinarian in our household seeing as how I see them a little bit more often than my husband does (he is a fabulous bring-home-the-bacon provider to enable me to stay home). But I'm naturally more of a dictator anyways. But I lose my temper too often and too quickly. My 6 year old no longer unquestioningly obeys. I need to add the harder parenting work of explaining why I ask and demand what I do and be softer, especially with her. I seriously question why our two souls were paired sometimes. Fire and water people.
I am their dose of the real world. I will introduce them to disappointment and the fact that the world does not revolve around them.
But I will kiss their stubbed toes and skinned knees. I will hold them and squeeze them and tell them, yes I know it hurts, I'm sorry it hurts. They can fly home.
And I will protect them, but oh how to not over protect them? How far do I let them go, without me? See, this parenting thing just keeps getting harder. Forget the newborn stage. This is hard work man.