Friday, August 19, 2011

Nature vs. Nuture by Robin Gorman Newman

My husband invited Seth and I to spend two nights with him in East Hampton on a business trip, and we just returned last night.

Originally I wasn't sure if we'd stay one or two nights, but we had such a great first day, that we decided to stay.

Marc worked at his client, and I drove his car around.  It was Seth and I by day, and we had a blast.  We visited South Hampton, Sag Harbor and Amagansett.  Shopped til you drop, and also hit the streets of East Hampton.  We managed to squeeze in a swim, and had some nice meals out.

Seth has been my shopping buddy since he was little.

I used to take him to the supermarket where he'd help put the bottles and cans into the return machine, and we'd make our way up 'n down the aisles, where he picked out food he'd like to eat, and I pointed out things like coconuts, which was another comical blog post I wrote. I treated it as an educational/bonding experience.

My real  shopping treat is rummaging the racks of TJ Maxx. It's the thrill of the hunt...and bargain prices.  Seth often came with me.  We had a pact....we shop for mommy, then we shop for Seth.  I never promised I'd buy him a toy.  Sometimes I did...other times not...didn't want him to expect that each time we entered a store, he'd come out with a goody.  And, he came to understand.

He is generally patient and even offers his opinion if I'm contemplating make a purchase I'm not sure of.  He he has good taste.

It's led me to think about nature vs. nurture.

When I've shared with mom friends about the way Seth and I shop together, some are amazed.  They say they could never do that with their sons.  But, I wonder if part of it is training..the experience you share with them and how you make it fun.  Or, do they just assume their child wouldn't rise to the occasion, without giving it a go?

Is it possible someone is just an innate shopper?  And, what about other activities that we might think they'd won't like or they haven't been groomed for?

It's easy to reach a conclusion in advance, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Seth is always eager to join me on a shopping trip, as long as I make sure there are interesting things for him to look at and that I don't overdue any time in the fitting room.

I'm grateful for his company and am glad that this is one activity we can share since there are so many boy toys, games, etc. that aren't the easiest for me to embrace.  For that, he has his father, friends, or does some solo play.  But, I do want to continue to cultivate a close relationship with him as the years go by, and while shopping isn't all that we do together, it is something that works for both of us...even if just window shopping.  Part of the fun is the exploration and the mommy/son time.

Are there things you do with your child that you raised them to enjoy?

Are there activities you wish they'd embrace?

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