My four oldest children are attending golf camp this week. They spend the morning golfing and then get lunch at the pool with time to swim.
Each evening before bed, I have been helping the 6 yr. old gather her things and put them all in a backpack to be ready to go the next morning. She needs a towel and swim suit, sunscreen and floaties. We also lay out the clothes she’ll be wearing and search for her shoes. (They seem to disappear each and every day. Must be the shoe thief.)
All of this takes about half an hour, and if you knew the 6 yr. old you would know why. Let’s just say she’s highly distractable and not use any letters that come at the beginning of the alphabet and spell a word that means the opposite of subtract. ‘Kay?
Since I knew what we went through last night to get all of her things together, I was surprised when the very hunky golf pro called to tell me that she didn’t have her swim suit!
Not very long ago I would have let her miss the swimming in order to teach her a lesson about responsibility and accountability and the fact that her mother won’t always be there to bail her out.
But then I remembered that she is just six years old. And very distractable. And if your mother won’t be there to bail you out, then who on earth will?
I thought of my MaddieLynn being 13 years old and how in a few short years she may be a newlywed or a new mother. I thought of her needing help or advice or even making a mistake. I wondered if she would think of calling me or if she would just skip it because she wouldn’t want a lecture about responsibility and accountability.
Then I loaded the little ones in Hogzilla and took the swimsuit. And I didn’t say a work about any “ilities”.
And now here I am wondering if I was helping or enabling. Was I helping her to enjoy her childhood and trust that her mother will do whatever is possible to be there for her? Or was I enabling her to be irresponsible and count on others to follow behind her fixing her mess ups?
What do you think? What would you have done?