Some of my favorite moments with my children are found when they are sleeping. I know, sounds like something from a crazy mom that needs a break, right? Well, it’s not that. Sometimes I sneak into my children’s rooms at night when they are sleeping and I just watch them. Now, for the regular person this would be considered an act of deviance, but for a mother, this is a moment that allows us to see our children in a different light. Away from the craziness of the day, the naughtiness of child’s play, and the frustrations of an overwhelmed mother.
It is in these moments that I find so many truths about my children. I see such innocence, such unknowing of a cruel and evil world. I see their personalities in the way they sleep – the way my daughter sleeps wild and crazy, unhindered by the boundaries of a bed and pillows and sheets, the way my son ignores the boundaries of “top” of the bed and ritually places his pillows at the foot of the bed and sleeps “upside down.”
It is also in these moments that I am reminded of the impossible rules that are placed upon our society. The rules that will, for the rest of their lives, govern every decision my children will make. The rules that will tell them how to speak, how to act, who to like, how to dress, what to believe… and yes, even which is the top or bottom of the bed. I have many friends that refer to me as the “hippy” mom, for the simple fact that I allow my children to do crazy things. We have cupcake fights in the house. We have tickle fights. My children slide down the steps in sleeping bags, and jump on the bed. They stand on my hands/feet when I am laying on the floor. My daughter wrote “Cobe poops” on her closet shelves, and while she got into trouble, we haven’t painted over it. My daughter is allowed to paint her own fingernails. I don’t make the decisions on what my children wear – if we go to WalMart in dress up clothes, or to school in clothes that don’t match, well, who cares. Don’t get me wrong, I do have rules in my house, but I refuse to allow my children to be bound by societal rules.
I want my children to understand simple truths in life. That people are not all the same. Some people are tall, some are short. Some are fat, some are skinny. Some are black, some are white/red/yellow/blue/green (you get the idea). Some are gay, some are straight. Some are Christian, some are not. Some dress in certain ways, some dress in other ways. I want my children to feel free to be who they are, to not feel like they have to live up to an idea of what someone else thinks they should be.
Shakespeare said it best, “To thine own self, be true.” This is what I want for my children. To be understanding. To be tolerant. To be confident. To be self-aware. To live in a home that allows for mistakes and differences, and is understanding and safe.