I’ve been a Fairhaven parent for many years. You’d think by now I’d be quite accomplished. Think again! Each year and each developmental stage brings its own triumphs and trials, joys and sorrows. Subsequently, I have the opportunity to discover new things about myself as I grow in this process with my children.
When my children were young, my concerns radiated around safety issues and whether their exposure to profanity would scar them forever. I fretted about their relationships with other kids, their JC sentences, their lost shoes and the annual outbreak of poison ivy.
In spite of weathering years of challenges and their eventual resolutions, I am now facing my most serious time of doubt and worry as my children are nearing the end of their Fairhaven School tenure.
Now my worries take on a higher pitch and a stronger energy. I worry about their future as they enter the unknown territory of the adult world. I am afraid that they do not have the skills they need to succeed. I am afraid they will not be able to accomplish their goals and will be trapped in dreary, meaningless jobs. I am afraid they will not be happy, successful adults.
Every parent worries, I know. But I think that Fairhaven parents wrestle with this demon to a greater extent. We have given our children an unprecedented measure of freedom and responsibility. We have given them rights in a culture that does not fully respect them and the power they have. We have given them the ability to choose how they will live. We have chosen to respect their inner wisdom and to trust that they are following a path that we cannot control.
Just at the point in their lives when my teenagers need to strengthen their self-confidence and fine-tune their ability to hear their own true voice, I panic. I am tempted to grab back the trust I have given them because I am too afraid.
But then I think back over all the worries and concerns of previous years and how my children tackled each problem and I am greatly comforted. They learned to navigate the stream safely. They learned how to use their “shocking” vocabulary with finesse, expression and responsibility. They learned to read (without lessons) and how to get at the core of complex ethical problems. They are very good at getting answers to their questions and know how to ask for help when they need it. And most significantly, they are well on the way to knowing who they are and what is important to them in this life.
Yes, I will continue to trust them. And I will continue to trust the universe to guide and support them on their path.
A Fairhaven School parent