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Symptoms to Take Notice of in Children

The NHS has been facing ever-increasing pressures in recent years, with slashed budgets, staff shortages and lack of resources taking its toll on the quality of care. One of the many ways we commonly see the impact of these pressures is in waiting times for GP…

Mother of the Bride Guide

The day you’ve dreamed of for years has finally arrived! Your little girl is all grown up and has chosen a partner to start her life with, and you are officially a MoB -- Mother of the Bride! While congratulatory remarks are appropriate at this juncture, so are a few…

How to Through A Larger Than Life Small Wedding on a Budget

This one is as simple as crowdfunding your honeymoon. It might sound strange at first, but do you really need another blender or set of dinner plates? Instead of having your guests purchase a bunch of things you’ll end up trying to return anyway, why not let them chip in for…

This afternoon, I carried a small handful of cookies into the yard, one—well, maybe two—for me and one for each of my three kids.

“Ooo!” squealed my 6-year-old son. “How many? How many?”

“When someone brings you a treat, you don’t say, ‘How many’!” I scolded. “You say, ‘Thank you.’”

“Thank you!” cried Griffin, grabbing his cookie and loping off across the grass.

As I watched him go, I found myself worrying that he might turn into “that guy”: the one avidly pumping the keg at fraternity parties and filling red Solo Cups, especially his own; the guy greedily reaching for the Fritos and another bong hit; the guy with a beer gut and a prematurely failing liver.

I recalled a conversation I’d had earlier in the day with a friend, as we escorted our 2-year-olds around Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum.

“Can’t you just see that kid in college?” my friend asked, pointing to a chubby tyke in stripes.

“Yeah,” I said, “at the tail end of a beer bong.”

Fortunately, I have no evidence yet to suggest that any of my children—or that unsuspecting toddler, for that matter—will end up as vice-riddled adolescents. But I worry nonetheless. In fact, when my husband and I recently saw “The Place Beyond the Pines,” a film that explores the repercussions of paternal abandonment, I peered around Ryan Gosling’s heavily tatted biceps and got hung up somewhere inside the teenage party scene. “Oxy, anyone?” drawls a beefy youth, neglected by his father, tipping a fat bottle of pills into a circle of eager, outstretched hands.

My husband and I are both physically and emotionally present in our children’s lives, but I fret that our love and care will prove insufficient. I worry that our guidance will not protect our kids and prevent them from dipping their hands into cookie jars, so to speak—not just now when parenting occasionally feels like a death watch, but deep into the future when we’re no longer in the candy stores with them.

At a family party this weekend, our twins did get involved in a raucous game of indoor tag. But I’m fairly certain they didn’t imbibe any alcohol or pharmaceuticals. I know for sure that the most toxic substance our 2-year-old ingested was a handful of cherries still containing their pits.

Right now, as a family, we are all still innocent: our kids because of their tender ages and my husband and I because we don’t yet know what lies ahead. I realize our job is to direct our children through the obstacles of development before releasing them into the world. I certainly don’t want to hover, causing them to slip into a suspended adolescence, inhabiting, as a cartoon in this week’s New Yorker quips, “…that awkward age—not completely out of the house but no longer a tax deduction.”

And I know that anxiety is the curse of parenting. But sometimes I feel I can’t bear it.

Sometimes, I wish I could freeze our children in this moment, our twins still in kindergarten, our youngest nearing 3, circling the driveway on bikes, concocting senseless knock-knock jokes, sumo wresting in the grass. Sometimes, in the hour or so just before bedtime, the chores completed and our kids' needs mostly attended to for the day, I wish I could preserve our family in this untarnished place, our children playing mock Olympics in the yard—when the worst they're engaged in is trying to pole vault with plastic bats.

http://courtenayharrisbond.blogspot.com/

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