I’m linking up with Mama Kat today for her Writing Workshop, and the prompt I chose is: “share a quote you love”.
I’m a big fan of quotes. When I was younger, I had a book I would carry around where I recorded all the good quotes I read and heard. Now I have a Pinterest Board that does it for me…and if I’m completely honest, I still carry around the book. There’s just something that comes with writing the words down as opposed to hitting the little red “Pin It” button.
The quote I want to share today is one I came across during a re-reading of the Anne of Green Gables series. I read the series so many times as a young girl and teenager, but I recently picked it up again as an adult and found a whole new depth to it. If you ask me, that’s the sign of a truly amazing book: all of my old favorite parts were still there, but sections that I hadn’t taken notice of before resonated with me deeply: Anne visiting the little yellow house where she was born, Marilla’s struggle with doing what she thought was best for Anne while making the little girl happy, and Anne having–and losing–her own children. Reading the series as a mother was like meeting up with a childhood friend and finding her going through the same things I was–a literary hug, if you will.
I came across this quote in Anne of Green Gables, and as a young reader, I probably skipped over it without a thought. But this time it caught my eye and I jotted it down, and my mind has returned to it several times since.
Excuse my southern here…but ain’t that the truth?
The world seems overwhelmed with ways we SHOULD be raising our children. Let your baby cry it out–they have to learn! If you let your baby cry, they’ll never feel secure! Stay close, give them comfort! Let them go, they need to be independent! Socialize them or they’ll be forever alone! Don’t put them in big groups–they’ll get germs! Vaccinate! Don’t vaccinate! There are Tiger Moms and Helicopter Moms and I even read an article about a brand of women calling themselves “elephant moms”. Why can’t we just be…parents?
We each have our own beliefs and passions about parenting and what works for us and specifically, our kids. Every kid is different. I’ll use myself as an example. JC doesn’t handle big crowds and loud kids. It’s something we work on all the time. When I see him getting overwhelmed at the playground or at the zoo, I step in and help him navigate the situation. While I can see that he’s come so far, another mother may just see me butting in. I’m sure I get judged, but that other mom doesn’t know the whole story and I know I’m doing what’s best for my kid.
We all judge. Don’t deny it, you’ve done it. But the next time you see a situation arise where a parenting style is a little different from yours, remember that you might not be seeing the whole picture. Remember that even Rachel Lynde, the grandest judge of Avonlea, admits there’s more than one way to bring up children.
And you can quote me on that.