Not to sound melodramatic but sometimes it feels like parenting will never end. Since we’re looking at a solid quarter century before our kid is likely to be independent (if you take recent trends to be any indication. Which you probably shouldn’t, btdubs) – That’s half of our lives!
In my better moments, I’m down with the melodrama. Bring on the “it goes by so fast” and “you’ll wish for these days again” and “they’re only small once” conversations with strangers and friends.
In my more cynical moments I cop to the idea that sure, parenting a young soul is a great responsibility – but let’s not get teary eyed about diapers full of excretions, a little boy who wakes up to cry for two or three minutes at a time twice a night (still! more than once a week! and he’s 15 months old!) and meltdowns where I’m THAT MOM at the park with her toddler under her arm as he’s kicking and flailing and screaming and biting because he can’t eat your kid’s container full of cheerios. (and of course, I left his snack at home.)
So, to help this mama out I’ve made a list of long, slow, torturous lessons that I actually feel privileged to be able to (try to) teach.
- Saying Please and Thank You.
- Being a good friend
- Caring for Nature
- Interdependence on others
- Reading and Study
- It’s okay to cry and to be sad.
- How to Pray
Oh gosh, I could go on with all the things I hope this kid will know when he grows up, but 10 is a nice number. It’s useful for me to remember, (also in my better moments) that the best things worth teaching are skills that will help others, that will contribute to the community and that aren’t forgotten over summer vacation.