I have been wrestling with what my role is as a parent. My instinct is to protect my children. My gut says I have to let them explore the world and make their own mistakes. I wonder what my exact purpose is. So I read. Sadly, I read nothing about parenting so I haven't gotten any good answers from my worn out copy of The Binghamton New York Hadassah Cookbook.
In my role at work as a "teacher" (I put that in quotes to show that I know how to use the shift key) I require that students read things and for the sake of appearances, I occasionally read what I have assigned. So I started tackling summer reading and I read a couple of books. I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Things They Carried, and I'm midway through (midway if the book were 30 pages long, but I have started it) The Glass Castle, and these little nuggets of summer tedium have shown me what my job is.
Being a parent requires that we walk a very fine line. It is great if our kids talk about us in glowing terms with their friends. It is acceptable if they say our names in school without spitting. It is even allowable for their childhoods to become fodder for those 45 minute hours at the therapist twice a week. But under no circumstances can we do anything that would motivate our children to write books about their childhood. That's my job – to stay out of print.
I have yet to read a memoir which has such entries as "In third grade, things were pretty much cool," or "and then, we went on vacation. It was ok." Show me a book which recounts such thrilling childhood experiences as "lunch" and "not hating my parents because they raised me normal and sent me to school, and camp and are nice people."
When those books reach the best sellers' chart and replace the "I was born into slavery and then things got really bad" books, then my kids can write about me.