My mom spent a lot of time while I was in grade school,
trying to convince me to wear saddle shoes.
I thought saddle shoes were dumb, and refused to wear them.

As it turns out, when she was a girl in the 50’s saddle
shoes were all the rage, and being Amish, she wasn’t allowed to wear them.  Way to pin your old dreams onto me mom!

And yet, who thinks that every child will be thrilled from
head to toe with a new book? Me, yes me.
Who wants our little family to spend evening’s together sitting on the
couch reading our respective books?  Me
again.

Who thinks this is a bit ridiculous, and that it is not
quality family time? Yes, my children’s father.

The point is, the things I love, my own dreams, I am passionate about bringing
those same things into the lives of my children.

The things Gene loves and has good memories of, I am not so
passionate about bringing into the lives of our children.  We also don’t have a huge overlap in fond
memories.

Gene has good memories when he was a boy of lying on the
floor and watching fish swim around in his parent’s 30 gallon fish tank.  He learned about guppies this way.

I first learned about guppies by reading Henry Huggins, by
Beverly Cleary. (If you’re interested, Henry buys a couple of guppies and they
reproduce like crazy, and he fills all his mother’s canning jars with guppies,
which is fine until his mother needs to do some preserving. It’s an old-school
book; part of the charm)

So, Gene wants to buy a fish tank for our family.  Not a small tank though, a gigantic tank that
needs its own special cabinet to hold its weight.  I would rather buy Henry Huggins.

So while our children are busy developing their own
interests, Gene and I try to sway each of them to buy into our ideas of what constitutes
a happy childhood.

This could get interesting yet.

To you parents that have walked on the tightrope of blending
two parents together into one harmonious unit, I nod my head to you.  You have my respect, because it is not easy.

5 thoughts on “Projecting onto our Kids Part 1

  1. appalolly says:

    I totally get what you mean by this. And I am a fellow lover of books. I would consider all of us sitting around reading (even if we were all reading our own books) to be quality time. Jeremy would think all of us watching TV to be quality time. Me, not so much.Another example: I have SUCH fond memories of trips I took as a child and teenager. I think “road trip!!!” is such great quality time and the memories you make are never to be duplicated. Jeremy’s family never really traveled, so he thinks it is kind of a waste of money to travel and would just as soon buy something that is tangible with the money we would spend on traveling.Good luck on the gigantic fish tank!

  2. Great, great post. I love your writing style. I also have always hoped and wished that at least most of my kids, if not all of them, would develop a love of reading. Imagine my surprise, when, after almost never reading aloud to them as toddlers, at least two of them are now avid readers. I’m delighted! I can’t really say that I tried to push it on them, but I have tried to instill in them a love of books and reading. Is there a difference.. hmm…Now, when it comes to sports, both their dad and I unabashedly push our love of Hawkeye football onto every one of them. Bless their hearts, they’ve received it with open and welcoming arms. 🙂

  3. I adore reading, and both my parents are avid readers. My brother likes reading but doesn’t usually have alot of time to settle down and read, he’s got quite a schedule he keeps. I am not sure where my love of reading started but some of my fav memories were my parents reading to me as well as our nighttime stories tucked in bed and reading a few books. it got to be a bit funny when i could read (at 6) and would read ahead and get impatient when i was done the page and they were still reading to me.i hope that you are able to find a common ground. maybe you can read beverly cleary with the kids after they get the fish and there will be a connection there.

  4. Sharejoy says:

    AAK! Totally feeling this one.  Have projected onto my kids things I think are cool but they have NO interest in. Have butted heads over dumb things with husband concerning child rearing.  I wonder what they will say are my “saddle shoes”. =)

  5. lwstutz says:

    We have the ‘fish tank’ argument here too! Really! I say there’s no room in our house! He says I don’t want to make room. I want a horse. He says horses cost a lot of money and don’t make any. (neither do fish) The boys say IF they could race their horse, they could make money. Ha,ha! Life…!!!!

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