So if you're a Christian or been in churchy environments, or even if you watch Dr. Phil, or are just an American living in the 21st century, you've probably heard the term "boundaries" thrown around a lot. There's a book on it, which, to be honest, I haven't read. I hear it's really good, but I'm a little bit of a snobbish pig about reading books that "everyone else" is reading. Which makes me feel like I'm my own person (see? boundaries!) but probably just means I miss out on some good ideas.
Anyways, my close friends can tell you that I always roll my eyes (literally or mentally) when someone mentions boundaries, because I think that in some cases - not all - boundaries have become the "Christian" excuse for selfishness. Here's where you remind me that I haven't read the book so shuttheheckup. I KNOW, BUT... I'm basing my mental eye-rolls on how I've seen boundaries play out, not on what they are supposed to be. So humor me for a sec, okay?
It's become kind of a joke between me and a couple of friends. It's ironic, don't you see? I'm putting up a boundary around Boundaries. Ha ha, I'm hilarious.
Well, now that I'm parenting a child who is old enough for friendships that don't include me, maybe it would be a good time for a refresher course on healthy relationships. He had mentioned that he had a friend at school (let's call him Bob) who always wants to sit by him. We talked about how he doesn't HAVE to sit by Bob all the time, and he can have friendships with other kids too; he just has to be kind and nice to Bob.
Now if that's not great boundary advice, I don't know what is. But, then again, I haven't read the book.
Today Simon said, "Mom, Bob is my best friend."
Well, that's weird, I thought. I said, "Oh really? Why?" Simon said, "Well, that's what Bob said."
Then he said, "Bob always sits by me. But sometimes he lets me sit by other people. He likes to sit across from me too, so he can see me."
Well, that's just creepy.
Cue the conversation about what it means to be a good friend, and how a good friend doesn't make you do anything you don't want to do. I also encouraged him to continue to be friends with Bob and always be kind to him even if he doesn't want to sit by him (or across from him) sometimes.
(This on a day where I managed to sneak the correct names for pee-pees and hoo-hahs into conversation just so I can not screw up my kids in that department. I also decided it's time for all children to always have underpants on all the time.)
I'm rocking this parenting gig today.