I was feeling a little low recently, regretting that I had given my good friend and co-worker a hard time for his parenting skills. First it was the movies he showed his two-year-old son Vincent. Then it was the books he read him.
On a separate occasion, I complained to Vincent’s mom that he needed more structure. She should enroll little Vincent in a private school. It’s what he needs.
Then it hit me. I’m not a parent. What am I saying? Why am I preaching? Maybe, I’m just like everyone else — I know what’s best for you, just trust me.
It was this past weekend’s rain that made me realize how we can go astray in the way we show our concern and love for one another. Rain is so interesting. It smells like it looks — fresh, new, pure, wanted and needed. Those are all qualities I find in my little bud Vincent.
The rain reminded me to stop and appreciate what I don’t always see, or what is unexpected. So as I stopped to study the rain, to smell it and watch its interesting ways, I decided to do the same with Vincent, and with his parents.
During our next visit, I took the time to sit with Vincent and listened to what he had to say. Although I still don’t understand what he’s trying to tell me, I appreciate that he takes time to speak his mind and to share.
In our conversations, Vincent has taught me much about his mom and dad’s parenting skills. His constant laughter shows me how much love both his parents share with him. His imagination shows me the freedom he has to be a thinker. His energy, his endless energy, shows me that his parents fill him with excitement and appreciation for life.
It was all there before me; I was just looking in the wrong place. We do it more often than me we think. We look at the thin outer layer of a situation and quickly assign blame. I just had to look a little bit deeper to see the beautiful relationship that exists between two parents and a child.
It’s often said that there is no greater love known than that between a mom, a dad and the kid they brought into the world. Someday I’ll get to experience that wonderful connection, but until then I’m holding my criticisms. No more finger pointing.
One day Vincent will read this and when he does, I know he’ll be on his way to becoming an amazing young man, ready to take on the world. Vincent — it all started with the great parenting you received. Looking forward to our next visit. I still have a lot to learn.