Our most recent trip to Oregon, the hippy-est place on earth, we went to a library story/sing/social time. A group of parents with children all of a certain age would take off their shoes, unpack their children from their various style of harnesses (not strollers save one bad hippy-mommy) and sit in a circle. Shortly little kids were up and introducing themselves to other kids and parents and bystanders. I thought this fascinating as these kids and their joyous wanderings caused parents to interact with one another in a communal setting allowing introductions to be made, and friendships kindled. It was different from the way adults normally act.
Once the starting time commenced, the parents returned their kids to the place in the circle and they sat excitedly. The group, led by a librarian (coolest job ever!) sat and sang silly songs together complete with actions. Singing aloud a nutty children song, to yourself, your child and for the group to hear, all while participating in silly action shenanigans takes a lot confidence.
Christie was so impressed with this that she attended a similar library time in Phoenix. This group, apparently, was lame and uninteresting. They weren't willing to sing aloud, weren't willing to let their kids wander and explore, and weren't willing to interact with others who had a similar circumstance: their aged children.
This Friday I attended a similar event at the Foundation for Blind Children. The parents sang aloud. The parents whooshed and giggled and bounced their kids. The children, in various states, loved it. I don't believe there was a child there who did not enjoy the time together with their parents (and grandparents and some other people of some sort of relation) as they sang, danced and enjoyed the time together.
The art, or perhaps better summarized: the bumbling effort - of raising children is best served with confidence. Might we consider that having a child and being forced to deal with that child in all his or her humanness, fallibility, finiteness and love causes a parent to understand their true role.