Akiva has discovered play dates. It’s good news and bad news for me. I’m glad to see him so well-loved among his peers. I’m glad to see him have his own life developing. I’m glad that Bill and I are no longer the only people he wants to play with.
On the other hand, it’s hard for me to let go of some of my ideals, and it’s hard for me to know what’s important and what to overlook. I started this parenting thing with a greater-than-average amount of idealism, and while I (sort of) recognize that the real world demands that we compromise our ideals on a daily basis, it’s awfully hard to make peace with it. Now that Akiva is having friends over and going to others’ houses, I hear him talking about stuff he definitely hasn’t heard from me. In no particular order: Pokemon, Santa Claus, Scooby Doo, SpongeRobert SquareTrousers, Star Wars, Spiderman, et al. So far no mention of Mickey Mouse, but I know the recruiters for Team Rodent lie in wait.
Most of it is relatively benign and therefore it bugs me only because I’m crazy. But with it, I suppose, comes that gnawing feeling that my baby is growing up, and that little by little, he’s going to take over the task of deciding what he likes, and I’m going to have to deal with it.
There is another, less superficial, part of this that I’m also struggling to parse. What concerns for his safety are reasonable and what are outlandish? When he goes to someone’s house do I ask whether they serve processed snacks? Do I ask whether there are firearms in the home? Do I ask if they keep the television off during playtime? Do I ask anyone who is going to drive him if they have a driving record? Do I ask if anyone in the household smokes? Do I ask if they listen to music at a reasonable volume? Do I ask if they listen to bad music?
I am way too much of a control freak to be good at this parenting business.