by EBB on Thursday, March 31, 2011
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.