Parenting Advice From a Dummy . . .

I don't talk much about my family in this forum but my younger brother and my sister-in-law are expecting twins in the spring. Both boys. I don't care if they are identical or not as long as they don't look anything like the maternal genes their father and I both carry (balding, hairy feet, etc.).

I also hope, frankly, that they have ten fingers, ten toes, two functioning eyes, and wicked-foul smelling farts from the minute they are old enough to get their fingers pulled.

In the meantime there isn't much I can really do for them (sure, sure, Special Lady Friend is going to take care of sending gifts to showers and for the birth (I'm horrible at these things) and I plan to see them often, especially now that work is getting me back to DC (the live in the Maryland 'burbs) every few months. Beyond that the only thing I can really do is, when asked, offer advice.

As I have said a million times (find my "Mommy Blog" post if you want to feel my rage) every child is different and every parent and every dynamic between every child and every parent is different. You can't really predict and you can't really account for it but these things just sort of have to play out but I was asked the other night, indirectly, to give a kind word (my brother said he was "scared") or two so this is what I told him . . .

You cannot let "fear" enter parenting. You can be afraid of a lot of things in this world (I fear snakes, Governor Sam Brownback and his puppet legislature, a toe nail snagging a sheet in the night and awakening me in pain, physically outliving my mind, disappointing people that I love, and the day when every single movie in the theaters is a reboot, sequel, prequel, or franchise of a comic book, that the NFL will never actually wane in popularity, and that people actually read this blog for the hope of eventually getting something out of it). I do NOT fear my ability to be a parent.

Sure, sure. There are moments. When I was unemployed. When I'm stressed out and spelling words are h-a-r-d-e-r than they need to b-e. When I get a little attitude from the bugger and realize adolescence is coming . . . soon. I was (past tense) afraid when she was first born and we had a pile of challenges, statistics, and truly scary crap to wade through as part of the adoption process. I am afraid that she might eventually read this blog hoping to get something out of it. Or at all.

So I told him that fear was not real in parenting, that there would be times when he would need help and that he had a wife, two brothers, two sets of parents, a world of friends, and a collection of doctors, colleagues, neighbors, and - heck - strangers that could help him through those moments of want/need/uncertainty/scary moments.