On my run the other day (don’t be impressed if you know me, I am sure this fitness fad will fade soon), I saw a little turtle crossing the road in front of me.
He (or she?) was heading to the East, so, in my Turtle Crossing 101 course from spending time in a turtle-laden shore town, I knew I should help the little guy along his path and get him out of harms way. So, I picked him up by the shell and put him safely on the East side of the road.
Next lap, he is in the middle of the road again, this time heading West. I stop again, pick him up again, and put him safely on the West side of the road.
Lap three, and sadly due to my lack of cardio this summer, my last lap… that turtle is back in the middle of the road again.
I actually stopped and looked at that turtle and said, “What do you want me to do?” I couldn’t let him stay in the middle of the road, so, I again, put him off to the side of the road.
When I got home, I couldn’t get that little fellow out of my mind. I actually thought about him all day. Later that afternoon I took a ride and was happy NOT to see him anywhere (especially in the middle of the road as turtle pizza).
Where am I going with this?
I think this is the kind of parent I would like to be. I hope if my kids are heading down the wrong path, I will gently redirect them. If they make the same mistake twice, I hope I will still gently redirect them. A third time? Again, I am not going to leave them in the middle of the road to get smashed – I am going to try to gently guide them to side of the road they are hoping to get to, which ever that might be.
Good luck to all of us parents in our turtle directing; I don’t think it will be as easy as lifting a shell and plopping them down on the safe side of the road. But, I am hoping for the patience to help them figure out the right path.