Monday, April 6, 2015

Vacation Parenting

We’re back on vacation, gang! To the beautiful and very nice to us to our faces people of Costa Rica!

On the flight, and missed connection and subsequent 3 hour ride in the back of a pig truck (or probably a van) trip, I gave a lot of thought to my style of parenting.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Free Range Parenting versus Helicopter Parenting. I’m 100% not sure the difference between the two because I only read the Onion on the internet (we need the views). But from their names I can surmise one is a lot more free, like you let your kid get rides home from school from strangers. And the other one means you push your kid out of a helicopter.

I tend to parent using the Secret Service method. I’m always watching. Always watching. Ready in a moment’s notice to throw myself in front of a bullet. I also like to talk into my shirtsleeve. “Traveler’s on the move…”

I decided it would be better for everyone’s sanity if I dialed it back a little bit. Maybe let our sons get a scratched knee every once and a while. I do draw the line at shoving them out of a helicopter, though.

My first test came when we got to the staggeringly beautiful pool at our hotel (I refuse to ask Diana how much this costs). Luca insisted on not wearing a life vest, even though his version of swimming is paddling with only his mouth above the waterline. I realized his desire to test fate was due to the cute pre-teen who chatted him up, poolside. Yes, this is my five year old we’re talking about.

I decided to let him swim, un-vested. Despite every cell of my body screaming otherwise. While he splashed and jumped and somehow got oxygen into his body, I pretended to ignore him, a few meters away. I stared at the nearby ocean, racking my brain to remember CPR.

I finally relaxed after realizing the pre-teen girl would probably save his life if he drowned.

Tomorrow, I plan on letting him harpoon jellyfish.

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