People have asked me what I think of the Tiger mom. I don't know the woman. I haven't read the book. I have nothing to say about her. That doesn't seem to stop a lot of people from commenting, however. If you are going to read something, then this sfgate.com piece looks like a good place to start.
I was appalled to learn from my daughter that one of her classmates hears this question repeatedly from her mom, "Why can't you be more like Iris?"
That is awful on so many levels. Shouldn't we want our children to be their best selves instead of other people? Okay, that's a biased question and I have put my bias out there in the open.
I also get questions about what I did with her when she was young. Did I read to her a lot?
This is primarily a blog where I chronicle the happy things that happen in my life. I do not like to dwell on how many things I am/was unable to do. If you want to know the truth, I missed out on large chunks of my only child's childhood because of my health. And don't ask me why I didn't provide her with a sibling.
A mother's primary responsibility is to live long enough to teach her cub to hunt for herself. That means I missed out on many things while I optimized my life expectancy.
My big parenting secret is benign neglect. ;-)
Back to tigers and dragons.
As a child, I was able to play Flight of the Bumblebee on my violin at a pretty good clip through long hours of practice. I did not enjoy that particular piece. (Slower Brahms and Haydn pieces are more my thing.) I am glad that music is a part of my life and I don't resent childhood time spent practicing the violin.
When I told my mom that I was going to take a break from the violin, she didn't push back. In fact, when I think back, I can't recall a single time when we went back and forth over something. That is, when I pushed back, she let it go. Or when she pushed back, I let it go.
I am in awe that a single mom of two, working full-time, made music for my sister and I such a priority that she found the money to pay for weekly lessons with some fantastic private teachers--the kind you have to audition for before they accept you.
A high school friend's mom said that, at PTA meetings, they marveled at my mom's child-rearing abilities. It's a good thing she was at work and not attending the meetings. If they knew us better, it would have ruined her mystique. No one really knows what happens behind closed doors.
Oops, I digressed again. Back to tigers and dragons.
My mother once told me that people took entirely the wrong lesson from the Chinese adage, "When you raise a dragon, expect to get singed."
She said that people used that adage as an argument for raising docile and compliant children. But she was of the opinion that the world needs more dragons and less sheep. Her takeaway lesson from that adage is to raise a dragon and not take it too personally when you get singed.
And that is why I gave myself that purple heart and went back to work.
Next up, I was in Tanzania less than 48 hours before I made my first fabric score! More later.