It has been a while since I’ve posted here. One of my goals for the new year is to get back into a rhythm of blogging.
So we begin with a new reflection on parenting. Since the last time I posted anything both of our kids had birthdays, and so we now have a 3-year old and a 1-year old. Which is crazy. Where did the time go.
Anytime I think about parenting I think about the title from Jennifer Senior’s excellent book.
Some people freak out about this title because it feels sacrilegious to question being a parent at any level. Others roll their eyes in a jaded, sort of, “tell-me-something-I-don’t-know” way.
I find most parents, especially of younger kids, tend to go to one of these extremes. Happy-to-be-doing-this roboticness, or totally unsubtle resentment that these little people have robbed them of their “old life.”
Is there a better way to hold the tension?
Parenting is certainly not “no fun.” I have so much fun with my kids. Especially now that they are able to do a lot more and play and jump and talk (well more so the older than the younger, but they are both very interactive in their own ways).
But it is hard.
Our youngest has had a much more difficult time with teething than the older and I’ve spent a few midnight moments in the kitchen trying to rock him to sleep with the help of the humming refrigerator. Precious moments in some ways, but not exactly fun.
Discipline: incredibly important, but not a hoot!
Parenting is also not “all joyful.” There are some painful moments of recognizing one’s own selfishness and broken patterns of behavior.
There are painful moments of seeing those patterns show up in your kids.
There are painful moments of seeing selfish and broken patterns show up in your kids that you know didn’t come from you. They’re just there.
There’s an incredible potential in these tiny humans to break our hearts and if you have any kind of imagination you can see that potential early on.
And yet, there is so much joy. Dessert Friday. Visiting Grammy and Papa and G. Going to the park. Playing catch. Jumping Jacks. Reading books. Dinner together. When the oldest disobeys and then says to you: “Daddy, I want to be in right relationship.”
Live with that paradox parents. The old life is gone, this is a new stage, a new season. And it’s messy and frustrating and thrilling and boring and good.
And it will be transformative, if you let it.