I also won’t let my son play with guns, or ride a bike without a helmet or use heroin. There’s just too much risk. I can live with my son missing out on those things, so long as my son is living.
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I wanted to make sure that my son has someone to read with him, and make jokes with him, play ball with him, and hold his hand when he’s scared to go into his first day of gym class. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t absent. I don’t want to helicopter, but I want to be involved.
I am fairly certain that stern words and harsh consequences would only serve to strain our relationship at a time when what we need most is open communication and whatever trust we can build and maintain.
I remember years ago, when my son still had that fresh out the womb smell, I distinctly told him that if it ever came down to the Sophie’s Choice of him versus the TV, I’d choose the TV.
As I think about it, I am recognizing and remembering both my father and my son, for how I am reflected in who they are, and how they show up in everything I am and all that I do.