Friday, April 11, 2008

Parenting and Children

Well, today's "thought" has been revolving around parenting, the most important job anyone could ever have. (If you question the importance of parenting, think back to the last time you saw or met a person, whether child or adult, who really irritated you with his/her ridiculous behavior or bad attitude.)

Okay, so now that we are on the same page, let me say that you are never prepared to parent your children. While some people have tons of experience with children before becoming parents, still others have never interacted with children prior to the birth of their first child. And yet, no one is ever really fully prepared for the full-time, hair-raising, no-sleeping, spewing, diapering, teething, weaning, biting, screeching, temper-tantrum-throwing, potty-training, runny-nose-wiping, back-talking, I'm-not-eating-that-and-you-can't-make-me-nutrition-coaching, sibling-mediating, money-draining, mess-making life that is a parent's every waking (and often sleeping) moment. (Really, this is the stuff of nightmares. Stephen King's got nothin' on a full-time mother of multiple children!)

Parenting is also the most rewarding job a person could ever be blessed with having. The problem is that God gives us these little people when they are wee-bairns and we fall in love with them while they are sweet and innocent.... Then they stop being sweet and innocent along the way, and you can't send them back! (insert sarcasm) And God, in all His infinite wisdom, has not updated our knowledge base to make us capable of successfully dealing with this attitude shift (not to mention that by the time this happens, we are also well into parenting and a bit deranged). So, we struggle along the way with a kind of trial-and-error parenting, and we get no real feedback about how well we are doing until our blessed offspring are nearly grown... at which point, I might add, it is just about too late to do anything substantial about it.

Well, this rant has absolutely no conclusion since I am still in the throes of parenting. I am just amazed lately by the people our children can become if we aren't absolutely cognizant of our parenting choices along this journey. It is almost daunting to look at your child and imagine them a decade later. We can only hope that we are making appropriate choices more than 50% of the time and praying 100% of the time.

May God Bless you... and your parents,

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