Thursday, March 28, 2013

*My* Children

You will often hear teenagers or young adults state that my children aren't *mine* and why am I being so possessive of them.  Their thinking is that each person has their own will and choice in life and they are their own person and that we can't own people.  I disagree.

My children are *MINE*

Legally:
I am legally responsible for my children's well-being.  They are unable to consent to medical procedures, register for school or lessons or represent themselves in a court of law.  If my child commits a crime or vandalizes someone's property I am legally and financially responsible for the repercussions  If *my* toddler uses a rock to 'draw' on another's car then I am the one calling my insurance company and negotiating payment and righting the wrong that my child did.  When the police call looking for the responsible adult belonging to said child, they are looking for me.  These children are legally mine.

Biologically:
These children are a part of me, a part of my very DNA.  I spent years readying my body to house these perfect little beings for 9 months.  I changed my diet, my actions, my thought processes just to care for this not-yet a person being.  Even before the stick turned blue I was counting my caffeinated beverages, avoiding alcohol, and microwaving deli meats.  Once the pregnancy was confirmed I changed everything about my life to my daily activities (I needed far more sleep) to my diet to our long term plans.  We made different purchasing/financial decisions.  After the child was born I spent the next 12-15 months continuing to feed the child with my body.  I continued to watch my diet, depending on each child's  needs, and ensuring I was available for my child at all hours of the day and night to nourish their little bodies.  I could argue that I continue to feed my children; after all I do all the grocery shopping, cooking, dishes, counting calories, calculating exercise to food intake, protein vs empty calories. These children are a very part of me and my body, my energies and my life.

Morally:
Its my responsibility to ensure these little beings grow up to be successful productive members of society.  Some of the skills the children have learned are innate like grasping and sucking and walking.  Others are taught like reading, building, engineering.  I am their first teacher, as their mother.  We choose, as parents, what to introduce them to, what classes they should take to continue to grow their skills.  I take an enormous amount of pride when one of my children accomplishes something new.  I know that it was our work together that helped them reach that goal, either through direct teaching or something more indirect like simply driving the child to practice or paying for lessons.  Some of the time those accomplishments are part of ourselves showing through - like Connor's love for science and reading is so much like his father and Lainy Ann's love and compassion for her younger siblings comes directly from her mother.

So, yes, these are *MY* kids.  I take responsibility for them.  I will continue to teach them by exposing them to great literature, STEM based classes and activities, scouts, sports, robotics, programming, religion, etc.  As parents we will continue to nurture them and guide them in what we want them to learn about, because they are my kids.

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