Monday, April 8, 2013

On How I Compare Myself to an Animated Caveman

There's nothing like an animated movie to make you rethink your whole outlook on life.

Well, ok, maybe not my whole outlook on life, but The Croods really got me thinking. Thinking about my kids and me, as their mom, and how I parent.

The Croods is about a family of cave people who have survived past their time by hiding in a cave. Grug, burly cave papa, found a way to protect his family from their harsh environment. Yes, it meant staying in a small, dark space for days on end. Yes, all they had to look at was each other. Yes, every story Grug told ended with those taking a risk dying a horrible, bloody death. But know you what else they were?


Cave papa, Grug, could see his family - could reach out and touch them - and they were safe.

Isn't that what all we, parents, want for our families - to know they are safe - to be able to just reach out and have them there?

Unfortunately for Grug, Eep, his teen-aged daughter craves the light. And she is curious. And although she knows the cave is safe and that's where her family is:

She HATES the cave.  

And of course, as she's away from said cave, dangerously indulging her curiosity, she meets a guy. Well, er...., I should say, she meets Guy. He has wild new ideas, a way to make light in the dark, and doesn't seem to drag his knuckles when he runs.

While Eep's family is out searching for her, an earthquake and landslide destroys their cave home. With no safe place in which to retreat, the Croods set out, with Guy in tow (or should I say, in a log), to follow the sun.

I've decided that I'm a lot like Grug. I want what's best for my family. The most important thing to me is their happiness and safety. I'm just finding out that my way of doing things just might not be the best way to get there. This world can be a scary and harsh environment and I want to protect them from that. But when that protection starts to interfere with their opportunities for growth and development, it turns into something else.

It's hard to admit that I'm a caveman. My boys are growing up. Unfortunately, I can't do anything about that. My knee-jerk response to their need for more independence is to hold on tighter. Certainly, I can convince them to stay little forever, can't I?  No? 

The thing is, I want them to feel secure and confident out there. And here. I want them to know that their mama believes that they can do just about anything. But, when said mama is white-knuckling it, why would they believe her? When said mama is telling them to be careful, or correcting every mis-step, or swooping in to fix it, or worse - not letting them try at all, what does that tell these boys what their mama really thinks about their ability?

In the end, Grug got an idea. He was able to change. 

And I, with all my super Homosapien brain power, should be able to as well. 

I just have to convince my white knuckles.

Weight gain/loss: +2.4 lbs (Boo! But the rest of my stats explain it)
Total weight loss: -23.8 lbs
Exercise: 2 hours light yard work
Food: Good fruit/veggie intake - too many treats
Food Tracking: 0 of 7 days (I knew I blew it & didn't want to see it in black & white)
Hydration: Good - at least something positive


  1. There's a book I like: 'Free Range Kids' that is good about encouraging us to give our kids the independence and competence they need. Sounds like you liked the film?

    1. I've heard of that book. I'll have to get it. I can use all the encouragement I can get. Thanks!