It’s hard to predict the level of protectiveness I would feel as a parent before this child was here. Actually it is hard to imagine the level of protectiveness I’ll feel with each developmental change. I think one of the things that amazed me so much when I became a dad was the level of fragility I felt. I wanted to shield and protect. I realized there was so much destructiveness in this world.
Kids are vulnerable to a lot with or without a guardian. Some of the danger we can control like a broken glass bottle in their path, or skipping a film you know is R rated. But some experiences we can’t even see. Humiliation, betrayal, or hurt feelings; how do you prepare a kid for that? I mean, you can prep them. Give them a pep talk. But there really is no way to learn how to cope with tough issues until you face them. So, many times recently because of a change in my co-parenting plan (involving him living away from me) I have felt an ever growing urge to arm my son. I mean physically and mentally arm him. Like Neo in the Matrix! I wish I could download kung fu, conflict resolution, or cooking lessons on fried rice.
I think of putting all the necessary items in his backpack before he embarks on a journey. And yet I can’t. I can prepare him a little, but I can’t give him armor so that the harsh blows of reality wont stun him too much. As a guardian or parent, have you ever felt this way? Like you’re not giving a child enough to equip them for this thing called life? What is something you wish your parents had given you?
At least I can say I started the downloading of martial arts. I enrolled him in a kung fu class and as evil as it sounds, I can’t wait til’ he starts sparring and gets whacked, and hits back in a safe environment.