Are my husband and I bad parents because we pulled our son out of school for a week last month, just to go on vacation? This isn’t the first time we’ve done it either. We’ve been doing it for years, ever since our kids began going to different schools with different breaks.
Some parents would never do this. I know this because of the looks we’ve received when we mention what we’re doing. A few brave souls have asked, “Aren’t you afraid you’re setting a bad example for your kids?”.
Are we? The short answer is “hell no”. But, once upon a time I did question myself— back when I thought there was a “wrong” way and a “right” way, and nothing else. Back when I couldn’t see that if there’s a “wrong” and “right” way they must be on different ends of the spectrum, and if that’s the case there must be a middle too. If the middle isn’t the wrong and right of it all, what is it?
I think the middle is where the truth is, but that truth is different for everyone. So maybe truth is the wrong word. Maybe the right word is perspective. Whatever your perspective is in any given situation becomes your truth. Your truth, not everyone’s truth.
I think the people who believe it’s irresponsible to take your child out of school for a romp in the world have a great point. I also think people like my husband and I, who believe family bonding time and new experiences are important, have a great point too. This can probably be debated forever. We’ve all seen people debate, or should I say “fight to be right”?
Who knows what our kids will learn from us in the end? We all learn by observing and forming our own perceptions. Some of my best qualities arose out of watching my own parents make mistakes. I learned what I didn’t like, and that’s as good a lesson as any.
We all want to give our kids the perfect life so that they will never suffer. But there is no such thing as the perfect life, or the perfect parent. I assume my kids will have to fumble around like most of us, but if they only do what feels right to them, trying to serve everyone to their best ability, I would be happy.
The one thing I do hope my kids learn from us is that you don’t live your life based on other people’s opinions. They may think they’re right and you may think you’re wrong because of that, but the truth is somewhere in the middle, and it’s really just a perspective.