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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Holding Your Kids Above the Swirling Waters of Your Flaws...one minute at a time

Welcome to my new regular session called “You Know You’re Having Fun When..”

Your four month old is teething so you’re carrying him everywhere in an effort to keep him calm (but he’s crying anyway) and you’re trying to put the groceries away one handed (and you’re clumsy enough with TWO hands) and the blueberry container falls to the floor and spills open scattering plump juicy blueberries all over your kitchen floor and your two year old is stomping around singing ‘squish, squish, squishing the bluueeeeberries…’’  While grinding them into the kitchen floor.

My life is a bliss cupcake on top of a triple layer awesomeness cake.  

And sometimes it’s a carnival freak show-slide where I’m bracing against the slippery sides of an inevitable drop.

I thought my week couldn’t get any worse until the battery died in the truck 45 minutes from Galveston this weekend in the pouring rain.  Why we wanted to go in the pouring rain in the first place is besides the point.

Luckily (or unluckily…) we were at a McDonalds so I gathered the kids and waited inside drinking bad coffee and eating soggy pancakes.  Bill opted to wait outside (in the rain) trying to flag down someone to give us a jump.  After about an hour he managed to jumpstart the truck and then lock the keys inside.

Yes.  Locking the keys in the now running truck.  One step forward, two steps back.

The ONLY reason I don’t have a picture of him shoving a straightened wire coat hanger into the door in the pouring rain while a kind stranger pried open the top with a crowbar is because…my phone was locked in the truck too.

And THEN…Ellie got sick.  Again.  And Ben started teething.  (Cue drooling, gnawing on anything he can get in his mouth, and epic crankiness…)

And then I found this 5 minute meditation on the Insight Timer app I use and it said EVERY MOMENT we have a purpose and we can live with integrity and courage.  Every moment matters.  For some reason that comforted me.

And THEN the fortune in my fortune cookie was…’Heroism is endurance for one moment more’.

And THEN I thought…is parenting heroic?  I never thought so, the most mundane of things isn’t it?  To be a parent?  Parents are blessed, certainly, but are they hero's?

You know what?  YES.  There IS a heroism in striving to hold your temper, your patience, and your good humor when you’re lacking sleep, a good hot meal, and everyone (even the dog) is crying and you’re just trying to put THE DAMN BLUEBERRIES IN THE FRIDGE ALREADY.

So, yeah.  There is a heroism in parenting because there is a striving.  You’re trying to be a better person than you really are, in the hopes eventually you can stop faking it and BE that person.  You do this for your kids.  Because you hope they won’t have your flaws.  

And if, like me, you’re not sure if you can make it through one more day without losing your cool, the good news is, you don’t have to.  You just have to make it through the minute you’re in right now.

I also believe that parents, if they love you, will hold you up safely, above their swirling waters, and sometimes that means you'll never know what they endured.  Mitch Albom.