Thursday, August 1, 2013

Parenting.

Don’t get me wrong and assume that I have some sort of vengeance against parents, due to my post from a couple days ago.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth! I have a very high respect for parents, especially single parents, who go about doing their best to raise good children who have the potential to become extraordinary adults.  
Since the age of 9, I’ve had a front row seat to watching a baby grow into a toddler, start kindergarten, grow up, graduate from school and become a man.  In fact, I’ve had that beautiful experience at least 3 times over and now I’m currently watching my 12 year old niece blossom into a beautiful young woman.  By all means, I can CLEARLY see that parenthood is NOT a walk in the park!  Having shared a room with my first 2 nephews, I fondly remember the happiness that overcame me when they started to sleep all through the night!  Being 12 -16 years old, and waking up to a crying baby wasn’t fun, at all!  {If anything convinced me more of not becoming a teenage parent, it was certainly the lack of sleep due to a wet, hungry & crying baby} I remember how overjoyed we would all be when one of our toddlers didn’t need to use his pull-ups anymore because he finally grasped the concept of using the “potty.”  I remember how ecstatic we all were when one of our young 1st graders started to learn the words she needed for her spelling test, which soon became apart of her daily vocabulary.  
I get it--Parenting is hard. Luckily, I’ve seen the rewards that come with it.  When a child succeeds in accomplishing a hard task or homework project, their joy is remarkable! How wonderful it is when a parent can match their excitement!  I can understand that although it is hard, it can also be rewarding.  
Sometimes it kinda scares me that parenthood is right around the corner for Levi and I.  Although this is a rather big corner, it’s a lot closer than it’s ever been before! At times I get a lil scared, but I know that I have a strong partner in Levi.  It’s a learning process, and luckily we all get to take it one day at a time.  
In the last two days, my appreciation has grown for parents, as I’ve spent more time with my niece.  She just started at her new middle school and the homework load is just like I remember it. A LOT!  On Monday, we went over her Algebra, Social Studies and English homework.  It took a while.  On Tuesday, she came home, then we immediately left for her Softball practice.  I thought I was going to get to kick it in the shade for an hour & a half, but there I was playing catcher and then running bases.  {Note to self: get back to the gym this week!} Afterwards, we went home, did some more Distributive Property Algebra homework, then started on her Science project; an “All About Me” shadow box.  We didn’t finish til about 10pm, which only left enough time for her to go home, shower and hit the sack!  Poor girl! Some of the neighbor kids asked her to come outside and play.  I could tell that she wanted to, but she knew of the responsibilities at hand.  When we wrapped up our night, I was ready for the sack, too!  
So to all those parents out there… I get it -- it’s hard!  There are no days off.  The benefits aren’t always so great….but the retirement plan looks rewarding: the end product of a terrific kid, who becomes an intelligent, sensitive & respectful adult is pretty dang phenomenal!   
A HUGE kudos to all you parents who do your very best!! I have no doubt that you’re making a difference in your children’s lives and tomorrow’s world. 

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