Lean on Thee
“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”
(Dorothy C. Fisher)
When we took our two kids skiing for the first time, about 12 years ago, we got ‘em a private teacher for the whole day. Actually we got two, one for them and one for us, since it had been awhile since Jenny and I hit the slopes.
We ended up with a married couple who taught skiing year ‘round. The husband took our kids, and the wife took us up the mountain—all three of us, including her own snow bun-ny in the oven. Naturally, we talked about parenting, asking if this pregnancy was her first. Turns out they had a three-year-old girl as well. “Does she ski already?” I asked.
“Sure. She’s doing great.” came the reply.
“Well, I guess with Mom & Dad there to teach her everyday, she’s bound to be a great skiier.”
At this she stopped me: “Oh no, we can’t teach her at all. Every good instructor knows you can’t teach your own kids.”
“Because skiing is really difficult,” she answered. “and whenever a child encounters that difficulty—if their parents are anywhere nearby—they will run over and lean on Mom or Dad…”
(At this point she changed our parenting forever)
“…and sometimes, they gotta learn to lean on themselves”
Turns out skiing was the least of our lessons that day.