Thursday, December 11, 2008

Adora Svitak

Visit and be impressed. She's a great communicator, a prolific writer, has travelled widely and is media savey.

Now I'm going to do my wicked fairy Sleeping Beauty thing even though I look like and have the sweet nature of Merryweather. Under all that brilliance is a little girl with normal developmental stages to pass through. Joyce prepare yourself for these 3 inevitable events.

1. All kids have a day when they yell, "You've ruined my life. You've made me different from my friends". It's normal. However you parent a child, it is inevitable that you will create a unique human being. Brace yourself for the stage when being unique won't feel like a gift for her or you. This too will pass. Unlike Sleeping Beauty's parents, our kingdom won't go to sleep for a hundred years and only awake when true love appears. Ordinary mortals are awake for the whole thing.

2. At 16, all kids want to leave home. In Adora's case that might not be a problem. She might be completing a Ph.D. program at Yale by then. For us ordinary mortals, when the kid says, "I'm living here but don't think I like it. As soon as I get the money together, I'm out of here", most of us know that we've got about 2 years before they can make good on that threat and that gives us time to get them through high school and into college. I think parenting must be a bit more complex when there isn't a long waiting period between the desire and the necessary cash.

3. The first thing that pops into my mind when I watch Adora is Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease. Watch the movie. Go to the library and read "Stupid Boys Are Good to Relax With" by Susan Swan and don't be too surprised if opposites attract. Most princesses kiss a few frogs that don't turn into princes. As the educational gap broadens between girls and guys, statistically the odds are stacked against Adora's prince being a prodigy as well.

Maybe I'm all wrong. Maybe Adora will sail through all life's passages but hormones have been know to create the occasional storm. The best parenting days are the ones when it's hard and somehow you get it right in spite of yourself.

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