Parenting takes love and courage
“In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage. ” – Bill Cosby
Above are my two beautiful children. I love them more than my own life. But they have spawned in me some complete confusion and inspired love. Let me give you a couple of examples:
1. When we were traveling to Oregon only a scant two weeks ago, my children made me so proud. The happily dealt with a full day of traveling, followed by five days of bliss. They got along. They saved small aquatic animals from death. They found utter joy in throwing a stick in the ocean, only to chase it down the beach, rescue it from the surf and throw it right back in. They comforted me when, in a fit of stupidity I thought I was younger than I am, I hurled myself into and over a railing, leaving a sizable dent in my shin. They were stupendous. And for a brief and amazing moment, I thought, “We’re amazing parents. We should write books.”
2. My children decided last night that they wanted to sleep in our basement in our original three-man tent. At 10:00, my wife found them lying in the tent with the lights out but their Nintendo DS’s fully engaged when they were supposed to be fast asleep. After a stern, but amused, talking-to, they went to sleep. At 2:00 in the morning, my daughter came upstairs to the living room, where my wife chose to sleep so she could “hear the children”, to inform my wife that she could not sleep. My wife made her way to the basement, where she slept in the tent on the floor so that the children could continue their adventure. This morning, after a dearth of sleep, my children proceeded to fight with each other at such a volume that even I could not ignore it. And for a brief and groggy moment, I thought, “What were we thinking when we thought we could be parents?”
In the span of two weeks I’ve gone from proud and maybe a little arrogant parent to a bewildered and short-fused parent. I love my children, but this parenting thing? Well, I can’t have one without the other.