I ventured out on this beautiful October morning and I learned some stuff.
While we were at the playground I really got to observe different parenting styles. There was the inattentive parent whose child could be jumping into a well and wouldn't notice. There was the overly attentive parent who equally annoyed me. This parent had two children. The older of the two went down the fireman's pole and apparently hit his knee or something lame. The mom went over and helped her poor injured son hobble over to the bench. Then the younger, and braver, daughter wanted to go down the pole. Holy crap. Unacceptable. The kid was asking if she could please do it herself, but the mother wouldn't have any of it. The exact same pole I let my three year old go down minutes prior.
Which brings me to a third type of parent, who I think I fit into, the laid-back but encouraging type. There was this man with his 2 year old son and he was letting him go down the aforementioned pole, almost by himself. One of the times the kid did hit his face or something, but when the father didn't make a big deal out of it, neither did he. I like to think I am like this. Encouraging him to do things that are challenging and then kinda steam-rolling over falls. This does backfire, on occasion, though, when I insist that he is fine, then a few minutes later I notice he is hemorrhaging. Oops.
Then there was the highly interactive parent, playing tag with his kids. That was really cute. I strive to do this more.
All of these observations made me think of my parents. They were all "You can't do it? Well, I guess you can't do it." When I couldn't do the monkey bars my mom said that, well, she didn't have any upper body strength either. So that was that. I never learned the monkey bars. I don't think they were over protective, I think that their philosophy was that you are born to be able to do X and not Y so why bother with Y? Even more recently my dad told my friend that I was afraid of bridges and heights. I said "No I'm not!" "Well there was that bridge that you would never go over." "Yeah, that was a long time ago. I've gotten over it." Like if you are afraid of heights, you are afraid of heights and that is it. I want to always try to help Ryder overcome his fears by showing him that there is nothing to be afraid of.
I should be making a list.