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May 23, 2012
06:00 AM
MomSpeak

Barefoot in North Philly

Barefoot in North Philly

At some point Friday afternoon, Chloe was running around barefoot in North Philly.

No less than 30 strangers, mostly Temple students or college employees or rainbow-brite clad BassNectar concert attendees alerted me to this development.

Because obviously, I did not notice that my 3-year-old was running around shoeless. Obviously, the size 8 Dora the Explorer sneakers in my hands were a fashion accessory (because clearly we were all headed to rock out to BassNectar or whatever you do that is BassNectar-ish).

Now, I know people want to be helpful, like when they point out one of my children has their shoes on the wrong feet (yes, they often do. because I am trying to teach them to take care of themselves and often, they get it mixed up) I know people might think that I somehow did not notice my child undressing in the mall a couple weeks ago — and sprinting bare-butted through Build-A-Bear — because maybe I am visually impaired. I know we all know it takes a village to raise a child and everyone wants to be in my village, because I am just that darn special.

But, really? Enough with Captain Obvious. Yes, I actually permitted Chloe to run barefoot through the city streets risking a cut foot or a shard of crack-pipe wedged in her foot. I absolutely allowed it. I enabled this homeless, bag-lady behavior because the alternative was screaming and writhing and hitting. I just wanted to get to the parking garage and strap the shoeless little monster (darling) into her car seat.

I enabled this homeless, bag-lady behavior
because the alternative was
screaming and writhing and hitting.

I know what all those villagers are thinking: You, Mrs. Adkins, cannot control your own children.

And you know what, you are right. I have no control. And neither do you — your children are also running wild in one way or another.

Our children have minds of their own and no matter how hard we attempt to force them to do exactly what we want, they will never ever do it, unless it is their idea. We might fool ourselves into thinking that we've got the little loves under control with threats and bribes, but really, they are going to do what they want at the end of the day.

Naughty-spot be damned, shards of crack pipes, rocks, sticks and drafty little behinds at the mall: our children don't belong to us.  All we can do is provide wisdom, expectations, lessons in common sense and of course, consequences for poor behavior or inappropriate choices. All we can do is give our children all the tools they need to someday be healthy adults. We can pray for them and with them. We can naughty-spot them until the carpeting on the stairs is worn bare. We can ground them and take away their car keys a million times.

Lauren Schwarz PhotographyBut, they will still run barefoot in North Philly.

Trish Adkins is a South Jersey mom. This post is adapted from blog, Yoke.

Old to new | New to old
May 23, 2012 10:47 am
 Posted by  faeshuck

Truer words have never be spoken! They are independent to a fault & we are just the handlers. Let 'em loose & enjoy the ride! Well said my dear Trish!

May 23, 2012 02:04 pm
 Posted by  amilovesford

UMMMMMMMMM, you are awesome. You speak the truth and I like it. Let others look at us. I looked/judged moms (before I had a kid) like that... I bet we all did. Now I get it, well i pretend to get it. Great article!!
Ami (mom to Ford 21 months)

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About This Blog

Outstanding Delaware Valley mom and dad bloggers share insights about their kids or themselves, family experiences or ways they handled parenting situations. Their items — often reposted from their blogs — reflect everyday experiences that anyone can relate to rather than political viewpoints or belief systems.

MomSpeak Contributors

Trish Adkins, Yoke
Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Chris Bernholdt, DadNCharge
Stacy Heenan Biscardi, Wifty & Shifty
Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps
EJ Curran, Four Little Monsters
Darla DeMorrow, The Pregnant Entrepreneur
Rachée Fagg, Say It Rah-Shay
Raya Fagg, And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ
Stephanie Glover, A Grande Life
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Jean Ladden, Jean's Book Reviews
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Toni Langdon, Tickles and Time Outs
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Jeanine Ludwikowski, Mommy Entourage
Jeanne McCullough, Mom Hearts Pinot
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Lindsey Schuster, Sisters to Sons
Sandra Telep, West Philly Mama
Marissa Kiepert Truong, Land of Once Upon a Time
Lisa Weinstein, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein
Shivaun Williams, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion)
Paige Wolf, Spit That Out!

If you are a Philadelphia-area parenting blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.

 

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