And so it begins, as many things do, without much fanfare. As I sit to write, my two babies lie sleeping in the sweaty sleep, my husband is out at a concert with a friend, and after binge-watching several episodes of Friends and eating ¾ a pizza by myself, I decided it was time to start writing this book.
I came up with the title for this book approximately 4 years ago when a friend asked me a question about my parenting philosophy (which, as a side note, is a rather bizarre thing Western culture has normalized…having a parenting ‘philosophy’. But more on that later). As I answered my friend, I casually said, “if I ever write a book about parenting, it’ll be called Raising Grown-Ups.” And so, here it is.
Why write it now? Well, it’s surely not because my children are grown into fabulous adults and I’m sure I have (and had) this all figured out. Neither of those things are true yet, and the latter will probably never be. I’m writing this book now because my brother, who is expecting his first child, asked me to. And when your little brother, nearing 30 years old, asks you to write a book on parenting because he likes your kids best out of all the kids he knows, it’s the biggest vote of confidence one can get – especially when this little 28 year old brother has been living in the room above your garage for 3 months and has totally seen you lose your cool, lots and lots of times.
I’ve hesitated in writing this book for a perhaps very obvious reason: my children, at this moment, are only 5 ½ and 4 years old. I am hardly an expert, and have over a decade before my children will reach the age where they begin to enter adulthood and being ‘grown-ups’. Nevertheless, if my inability to remember where my glasses are when I’m wearing them is any indication, in over a decade from now I won’t be able to remember what my philosophy on parenting was at this stage in the game.
But here is what I can say confidently now as a mother, and doubt will ever change: learning to raise grown-ups is just as much about learning about ourselves as it is about helping shape our children into who they will become. So, whatever you glean from this book, and even if you decide to stop reading here, please take this: you are still a work in progress, especially in your parenting. Have grace with yourself, humbly seek help, courageously fail and keep trying – and I promise you, at thousands of little invisible junctures, your children will learn these things, and your journey of raising grown-ups will be well underway.