Something I apparently push on everyone else but don't trust my own children with.
We attended a memorial yesterday for my beloved great Uncle Bill. It was at an Episcopalian church and so I prepped the boys beforehand with what to expect and brought along some quiet activities to keep idle hands and minds busy and to avoid the squirmies.
Later in the reception hall, Brandon wanted to get some food, but I was mid-conversation with a newly acquainted distant cousin, and so I implored him to wait. This cousin said to me, "Let him go. He's a big boy." And then turning to both boys, she said, "Get a napkin and put a couple of things on it and bring it back to the table."
I guess I could have been offended that she was so forward, or angry that she stepped in front of the Mama Grizzly but I only pondered the moment and realized that she was right and I can't hover over them forever and expect them to make good decisions on their own and to do things properly and respectfully on their own. Sure, my immediate thoughts were, "Oh no! What if they spill some thing or touch every little piece of food before they settle on the one they want? What if they cut and push their way to the front?" But, I said, "Don't handle all the food, but pick up the first thing you touch and take it with you."
Why am I such a control freak over my kids in public?
Because I want their safety and I want to monitor their behavior. But, I think mostly because of my pride. I want them to be well-behaved so I don't look like a neglectful mother. Yuck!
So, off both boys went. I observed that Si waited patiently for his turn at the table and Brandon returned to tell me, "Mommy, there was a lady in a wheelchair and she couldn't reach the cheese or the bread, so I got it for her."
Not only were they totally fine, but they had the opportunity to model good manners and service.
This was a good lesson for me to learn.