When did I start to become defined by the behaviour of my children?
Maybe it was the first time one of them had a toddler-tantrum in the supermarket and I endured the accusing glares of others who’s children ‘would never have got away with that’. Yeah … yeah, I expect they were all potty trained at four months, walking at five months and quoting Shakespeare by six months, too.
Unfortunately, though, I think we all do become identified with the successes or failures of our offspring. Fortunately for me, all three of mine are highly intelligent and creatively and athletically gifted. It’s not my concern if other people don’t always see it the way I do.
Now I’m not saying they’re perfect; they do all have their own little idiosyncrasies (yes, let’s call them ‘little idiosyncrasies’). But on the whole they seem to be turning out okay. For starters, they’re all completely bilingual – they speak perfect English, and equally flawless Canadian. I swell with pride when I hear them say “I need the loo, eh”, or “I left my toque in the boot of the car”.
And for the most part I think I taught them most of the really important life lessons – for instance that house-cleaning is over-rated and people should be interesting enough to find better things to do with their time (aside from the mad panic shoving clutter into closets when anyone is coming to visit). Or that it is extremely dangerous (er, I mean rude) to interrupt someone while they’re reading, particularly if what that person is reading is anything by Terry Pratchett.
So, on the whole, I think my work here is done and they’re ready to be let out in public. How the public feels about that is their own business.