A quote my mother shared with me from Annette Bening in an interview in LIFE magazine:
"When kids get big enough, they need a certain amount of separateness. As do parents. I think it's healthy for kids to know they're part of your life but not running the show. Parents used to be more comfortable saying "Look, these are our lives, and you're along for the ride. When you're a grown-up, your kids will be along for that ride." There's something healthy in that. And in saying "You're bored? Figure it out. I'm not your entertainer. Go be bored." I can remember so well being bored [as a kid], thinking. What am I gonna do? That's a really important thing for a kid. That's how you find out who you are, how you find your sense of self."
Ms. Benning's thinking is right on. I've never felt like I needed to entertain anybody (a point probably made more obvious by my blog). I am NOT an entertainer. When I was the Enrichment counselor in our ward here, I felt this overwhelming feeling from the women that they wanted to be entertained. Wrong "e" word, I thought to myself, it's enriched. I feel this way as a mother. To appoint myself as the entertainer for my children...wouldn't that be stifling their own creativity? It's kind of like coloring books. The pictures are there, the lines are set--just fill in the blanks!
I will direct, I will comfort, instruct, praise, encourage, I will help, I will answer, I will even play, but I will not entertain. It is liberating and in a way, gives part of me back to myself--to say that.