Friday, July 19, 2013

2013 Road Trip Day 8: Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

You never know what you're gonna get - and that applies most to your children's behavior. When things are at their hottest and most chaotic, don't be surprised if they are good listeners and mature beyond their chronological age.

And then you get to a controlled environment and all hell breaks loose. In fact the above picture from Hershey's Chocolate World reminds me of a certain spectrum that will not be named to protect the innocent.

And as a parent you try and catalog what triggers these types of behaviors. Did they get enough sleep or too much? Did they eat enough or consume too much sugar? Did they get enough exercise or are they overtired? Are they bored or overstimulated?

The more and more you test these theorems, the more and more you figure out that you don't have the answers and maybe - just maybe - you need to stop looking for them. All these instances bring you is more experience and better instincts; see Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and 10,000 hours rule.

And sometimes your instincts work in complete harmony with the situation like a virtuoso symphony of parenting. And then sometimes your instincts fail you. It doesn't mean that you're wrong, just that you aren't always right. Maybe you just need 20,000 hours, or maybe 30,000, or maybe 100,000. There's always more chocolates to sample.

Today we left Hershey PA and arrived in New York City. The drive was exceptionally smooth as most of the traffic was heading out of The City, where it was naturally the hottest day New York has ever seen. It seems to follow us around. Except back home in Savannah where I understand it's been quite rainy. Maybe my plants will still be alive when I get home, that would be the metaphorical gift-wrapped chocolate surprise.

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