Saturday, October 25, 2008

Parenthood - Status as of October 2008

After being a parent for a time that seems hard to imagine... has it been over six years already, what did we do before children. I vaguely remember long moments on the sofa, watching whatever came on to the television... we were in fact led by those that schedule what will show up on the tube. I suppose that was before programmable television yet also during the amazing time of video cassette recorders. Now my time is spent between doing the essentials required by home and the desires of my children.

"I want... I need... Daddy can I PLEASE...."

Yes, we wanted them. We dreamed about them. We hoped that we would one day have them.

We wondered about children. What type of parents we would be. Would I make the right decision about how tough of a parent to be. What would "I love you" sound like from their mouths. And then they arrived. Luckily one at a time because if I were John and my wife was Kate... and we had a tv show about having eight children... I don't know. Would I be as sane as they seem to be on their weekly show. I suppose there has to be editing. Wonder what they take out?

Yelling, screaming, arguing, refereeing on who did what and coming up with a solution. Yes... sounds like my home too. But I've been blessed with two. Eight seems like an opportunity to quickly lose hair and begin the wrinkling process earlier than necessary. So far, ok on those fronts in my household. I'll try to remember to check on those issues as each year passes... if I can remember to stop long enough to check again. Currently I'm telling my daughter, for instance, to not climb on me my while I type, while I also tell my son to put socks on his feet to keep the cold floor from influencing his immune system.

Ahh... I remember the moments of learning about how to put the diaper on correctly while swirling feet circle much too close to my face. Thank goodness that pins are only used as a choice nowadays to attach panels of cloth around a moving little person... I prefer the reattachable stickies. I still prefer them... even though the diaper era in this house has passed...

THANK you GOD, HE above, the SPIRITS that have moved us to demand to our children that the potty is not to be feared but accepted for the good that it does. Perhaps if my son and daughter had been pricked by diaper pins, I would have become more patient. Or perhaps I would have become more neurotic than I am currently.

At this point, children still seem like a blessing. Of course they are! Saying otherwise would seem un-natural. But should you run into a parent, who has been a parent longer than a month, and he / she tells you that parenthood comes without frustration or concerns... is missing the fact that being a parent makes one immediately vulnerable.

No longer can one be isolated from the zaniness of the world we live within, for now one has to be concerned with how to raise a little person in today's world. A world spinning toward chaos as some attempt to pull away toward simplicity while the rest fear jumping off any venture that moves them forward.

Having children, I suppose is having committed to being part of the future. Our legacy lives within them and the lives they will lead. What our children will pursue professonally seems far removed from today's activities... perhaps as much as having a child did not so long ago.

There is no going back for a redo with raising children. I make mistakes that I hope my children will better understand as they grow older. I think though that overall, my wife and I are doing a good job. The basics are covered: i.e.: roof, food, clothes, safety. The lessons of character regarding being sincere and honest have taken hold in them... another success. I have been told if my children have the characteristics of what makes a good person impeded within their psyche at a young age... the rest will turn out ok. I will trust that as a good direction to proceed.

I'm sure that as time continues... the challenges will change. Yes, we figured out how to do the diaper change in minimal time, even with the lights off at an ungodly hour in the morning. Of course now that we've figured out that overwhelming challenge as it seemed in the "how to change your child" class, that era has passed and we've moved on to Cub Scouts, dolls, millions (yes, number is verified) of pieces that move away from designated play area to the rest of our home. This migration scares me because regardless of my repeated attempts... the migration will not be stopped.

Check back soon for more ramblings on parenthood and the joys found within. Joys such as the unprompted hugs, the "I love you's" and the open arm embraces when they're picked up at the end of the workday. And while raising children certainly isn't cheap, they're right when they say those moments are priceless.

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