So yesterday I wrote about all the things my daughter will not experience in her lifetime, at least not under my roof. Now, I will touch on the things that she can look forward to experiencing.
Education At Home
I plan to be a very hands on Mommy when it comes to school-work. Whether we decided to do public school or home school, I know that I want her to have all the educational opportunities available to her. Right now, we are attempting the “Your Baby Can Read!” series, which we have only done half-hearted since she’s still so little. That doesn’t mean that she won’t be getting better at it. We read stories before bed and Peyton loves her books. I plan to teach her the ABCs and her colors and shapes early on. She will know her body parts and her numbers. I am sure we will do this in a fun, kid-friendly way, but those who say “let your kid be a kid” apparently don’t know how to make learning fun.
Open Communication with Mommies
I was scared to death to talk to my parents about anything. I didn’t discuss sex and I didn’t discuss what I felt or believed in. I don’t want Peyton to feel scared to speak her mind. We will teach her that there is a time and a place, there is a way that you express your feelings, but that you are allowed to have your own opinions. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can cuss at people and force your opinions on other people, but you do have the right to your own thoughts and feelings.
As much as it might kill Kim, if our daughter was a Republican like this guy
, we would love her anyway. I would want her to tell me about it. We don’t have a religious practice in our house. I am a little in between religions and Kim is atheist. However, if she wanted to be Christian, I would support her right to go to church and believe what she wanted. So long as she took the time to education herself and she knew why she believed what she believed. Also, I would want to make sure she was tolerant to other people’s views, regardless of her own.
Learning Responsibility Through Chores
I freaking hated chores as a kid. However, I know now that I am an adult that they were necessary for my development and growth. It doesn’t hurt any kid to get some elbow grease into some dishes or vacuum a floor. I have never heard of a kid dying because they had to clean up after themselves or take the trash out. I personally like the reward system, like a star chart for younger kids and allowances for older kids, but Kim and I have not discussed that yet and we have plenty of time to decide.
Characters of Our Imagination and Tradition
No offense to those parents out there that believe that letting their kids think Santa is real is lying to them. BUT, what the hell are you concerned about? I’m sorry. I plan to foster Peyton’s imagination for as long as I can. She will get letters from Santa every year, I can’t wait til I can send her the first one this year. I will leave out a basket for her on Easter and we will decorate and carve pumpkins on Halloween. She will believe in the Tooth Fairy and Leprechauns. I have no problem “lying” to my kid to nurture her imagination and her belief in magic. Being a kid, she has the time to play in magic castles and be rescued by princes (or princesses if she chooses) and ride on rainbows and clap with fairies and sing with dolphins. The sky is the limit and she can experience it all with my blessing.
Making Her Own Mistakes and Hopefully Learning From Them
Kim may cringe on this one, but I totally believe that Peyton needs to make her own mistakes. I am not talking about the mistakes that can bring harm to her or be dangerous in some way. I am not a neglectful mother. However, if she decides to date that loser for a year – she will eventually learn from that mistake or she won’t. She has to decide that and I will be happy for her. If she decides to paint her room black when she’s a teenager and then realizes 10 years later that was ridiculous, she will hopefully have learned from it. If she doesn’t study for a test and then fails said test, she will learn the value of studying for tests. In general, I want her to take responsibility for her actions and the consequences that come with them. We can shelter our kids and shield them from every bad decision they make. Some of those decisions make our kids better people in the long run.
Freedom of Expression
I was allowed to wear make-up in the 6th grade, I was allowed to dye my hair in the 7th. I don’t personally know that these were smart things for me to do, but I did them, and I had my mother’s blessings. I believe that this is not exactly what Freedom of Expression is talking about. I am talking about the freedom to wear the colors of clothing you want, to wear the accessories that you find help define your personality. I don’t think I will be the mom letting her get her nose pierced at 15 or a tattoo at 16, but I think Kim and I can cross that bridge when we get to it. All I want for her is to express herself how she wants. Whether that be athletically, musically, creatively, artistically. I want to foster her need to be different and unique.
Snooping Mommy and Lack of Privacy
Yes, sure, I hated when my mother went through my stuff. I also know, now, that she wouldn’t have known I was doing half the crazy stuff I was doing if she hadn’t gone through my stuff. I am sure I will get backlash from this particular point, but I don’t see the harm in checking up on my kids. I can make sure that her text messages are appropriate. I can make sure that she isn’t posting stupid stuff on Facebook (if it exists by the time she’s old enough to use it). I can read her diary to make sure she isn’t engaging in risky and stupid behaviors. I hope that since we are going to have open communication and dialogue that I won’t have to stoop to this level, but I do reserve the right to do so if necessary. One because I am nosy and two because I care.
I’m really a firm believer that discipline never hurt a kid. Currently the goal for Peyton’s discipline will be time out – and when she is old enough to know what that means, we will be using the method very regularly to make sure she understands the rules and boundaries expected of her. I was spanked as a child, unlike most people who find it to be wrong, I personally don’t have a problem with spanking. It didn’t traumatize me and it didn’t make me fear my parents. It made me realize what would happen if I disobeyed. However, I do think that in most situations, time out can fix the problems of disobedience in children. Especially if you start early and are consistent. However, if the situation warrants it, I don’t think I would be opposed to swatting her butt a few times either.
Acceptance To Be Herself
I will be honest, I have an image of what Peyton will be like when she’s older. Sometimes I sit and wonder what her interests will be, what her favorite color will be, what she will look like. I spend hours thinking about her first day of school, her graduation, and her wedding. In the end it doesn’t really matter to me. Those are all my dreams and wishes for her. She is her own little person and she will grow up into a woman with her own aspirations and desires. I will never stifle her from those dreams and ambitions. If she wants to be a chess player. I accept it. If she wants to be a dancer. I accept it. If she wants to be a football player. I accept it. A cheerleader. I accept. Bible School Teacher. I accept it. Trash truck driver. I accept it. I don’t care what she turns out to be like, as long as it makes her happy in the end.
Unconditional Love No Matter What
When I came out, I had a hard time with my father not accepting that I was a lesbian. It went against his religious beliefs and for six years, we were estranged. It was probably the hardest six years of either of our lives. I am glad to say that now, my being a lesbian may still be against his religious beliefs, but he loves me, my partner, and our daughter regardless. I am glad to say that. What that experience taught me is that parents make mistakes. Parents can also learn from those mistakes. In the end, I will never make that mistake with Peyton. I will not allow myself to be out of her life for six years because our beliefs differ. I would never want to have that void in my heart. No matter what she does, no matter how she turns out and who she grows into being, I will love her, no matter. what.