Our Constitution has been under fire for years. I remember when flag burning was an outrage even after the Supreme Court upheld that burning the flag was an expression of free speech. I also remember a time, about 25 years ago, when my son was a teen that I was disparaging our “damned free speech” because it was getting so that every bit of self expression by anyone seemed to fall under “the right to free speech.”
This year began, and as the cold, wet spring lingered, there was little opportunity to get early yard work done. I checked in March with my grandson, and indeed he was still on board for helping with the yard. Great, on to Lowe’s to get a new mower and get it home.
A couple of weeks later, I get the news from my son that my 7th-grade grandson wants to try to get into the high school marching band a year early. That is very good that he likes music, plays an instrument and wants to be in marching band, but a 7th grader in with high school kids.... Hmmmm.... As a former middle-school teacher, I see problems here, but I am supposed to keep my mouth shut, so I do...... for a while.
It was in the middle of April I asked my grandson if he was sure he wanted to commit his summer to marching band this year when he could easily wait a year and have more of his friends in it with him. He assured me that he did. I pointed out how hot it would be and how committed he would have to be, and he said that was what he wanted to do.
The next week my son discussed my negativity with me. I am doing a controlled, in my head (hopefully) eye roll. I finally told my son that I just didn’t get it. They don’t let him ride the school bus because of bad influences, but they are tossing him into a group of high school students. I also told my son that had it been him, I would have simply said, “No, wait a year.” My son didn’t say anything, but I figured that was because he didn’t want to get into a discussion with me.
I have done my parenting, and it is time to let my son do his. My concern was selfish, I admit. If my grandson is using his energy in the heat of the day and is tired the next day, when is my yard getting mowed?
So today, as May ends, I am pushing my mower in the front yard as I traverse the hill under the trees. It is a big yard. I work on it twenty or thirty minutes every day and get it done in a week. I am getting exercise and enjoying nature. I have released any obligation or expectation on my grandson’s help. If he steps up and helps fine, if not, fine. He is being shown examples that I don’t think are going to benefit him in the long run, but considering I raised his father, maybe I didn’t set the right kind with him either. I just turn up the music, adjust the headphones and mow to the songs that put a smile on my face. All is well.
No, this isn’t about baseball. No, it isn’t about eating either. This is about how important it is for us to step up and own our actions. As we go through life, we begin as accepting small individuals, ready for all experiences until we are told to be afraid, to be careful, to censor ourselves. It is at this point that we let what others tell us to direct the course of our lives.
Something To Ponder