Whenever I am asked my expectant mothers what my biggest piece of advice is I always give the same answer: assemble a team of three. You need three good mom friends: one who is a few years ahead of you, one who is right there with you, and one who is a couple of years behind. The one who has walked the path will save you when the baby is making no sense and you are clueless. The one who is right there with you can cry and laugh with you and make you feel less alone. The one who is a few years behind helps you remember that parenting is all about phases and makes you feel like you might possible have your proverbial stuff together. If you have this team, everything seems to work itself out.
Yesterday, I was reminded how critical this team is. Doing homework with Evan is often a bit of a challenge. It's not that he struggles with the work; he struggles with the motivation. Last night, we were trying to work on homework at the studio. All he had to do was draw and label a spring pattern. You would have thought I asked him to cut off his arm and leg to make the pattern. I was two seconds away from melt down when Ms. Paula chimed in. (She is one of my few years ahead village when it comes to boys.) "Hey Evan, how do you feel about circles?" Evan conceded circles were a good deal. He made a whole row. "Now, if you add some lines and moons, you have suns and flowers. Problem solved."
He happily finished the pattern, and I looked at Paula in awe. "Sometimes with boys, start small and get them going. It gets them over the hump." Everyone with older boys agreed, and I have a new strategy for homework.
Clearly brilliant advice. And this is why we need our team, and this is why sometimes its best to just follow the path already made before you. There is wisdom on that path.