Sneaker Sucker or Excellent Mother?

Last week a well mannered friend wrote on facebook, "J.  just called to tell me that he forgot his gym bag this AM.  Guess which approach I'm taking, tough love or sucker mommy?"  This short sentence eloquently sums up the entire mommy debate.  Are you a tiger mother, an attachment parent, a helicopter mommy or someone who actually has to be at a place of employment for 8 hours a day and does not have the luxury to analyze which type of mother you are let alone race home to schlep some sneakers down to your child? 

Does taking your son his sneakers make you a sucker?  Does not taking him the sneakers make you a bad mother?  Is this opportunity a teachable moment or is it just a part of life which in a reasonable world would be devoid of all judgment?  After all "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."  Right?  Or maybe not.   At least not where motherhood is concerned.   It seems even the most mundane choices of daily life have become significant - as they relate to ones children.   Will not having his sneakers one Thursday in March have lasting  repercussions?  ("I didn't make varsity lacrosse because of that time my mom forgot my sneakers in 4th grade")    Will having his mother race into his class yelling "Yoohoo, Honey, here are your sneakers" cause him a crisis of self confidence due to social ridicule? 

We do not know which path our friend took that fateful day.   Did she rush across a busy city, gym bag and younger siblings in tow or did she let her son suffer the slings and arrows of forgotten sneakers?  And what will the consequences be?  Of course we won't know for years.  After all, the race is not always to the swift, but it's probably a good idea to be wearing some form of appropriate footwear. 


Kate said...

that is so funny because my son forgets his water bottle for lacrosse practice all the time. i do not bring him one. I have told him repeatedly it is his job. he asked for water at his game and I held up my hands and said, "did you bring it? That's not my job. it's yours." I got a glare from one mother and a "good answer" from another.

Kristin said...

The answer depends upon the frequency. I'd do it the first time if it wasn't completely out of the way. I forget things all the time, only I have the opportunity to go back home for it. If it happened more than once, then I'd have to opt for the teachable moment.

Anonymous said...

My approach is to take the stuff to school if/when I can. If I made a mistake and my daughter was able to help me out of a bind, I'd want her to choose to do that. I choose to help her when I can. There are plenty of times when I'm already at work and it's not possible to bail her out. When she calls for help, she makes it pretty clear that (a) she knows I might not be able to do it and (b) she's asking for a favor. I guess that's enough for me.

EBB said...

Anonymous, you have a wonderful point of view. I love your perspective. how true we all need help sometimes. Thank you for reading. I hope we hear more from you.

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