When it comes to parenting, I am either on the peak or in the valley, there are no plateaus. Up high and flying or lowdown and dirty; there seems to be very little gray area. The peak is pretty brilliant. I feel like a Queen, looking over my kingdom with a magical parenting scepter that renders my offspring obedient, charming and downright lovely. Alternatively, when I am stuck in a valley, the shit is constantly hitting the fan and I resemble a gremlin who got fed after midnight. My stay in the valley seems to last longer. I consider the valley to be where the work is happening; the dirty, nitty-gritty of raising a successful human being. The peaks are meant to give me hope, to keep me pushing forward in this mainly thankless task. I never turned to my mom and said “Hey, great work today. I think I finally have that manners concept down. Keep it up.” We all know this. It is the way it goes.
Parenting my oldest can be challenging. He is rather sensitive and dramatic, which means I have to understand and appreciate that certain things work him up more than I think necessary. That can be problematic for a boy who likes to decide how things should go, without consulting his parents. For instance, he will plan that he is going to wake up on Saturday morning, bike over to someone’s house, start a game of road hockey and then head to the park for soccer. When he sits down for a quick bowl of cereal and I throw at him our plans for the day, it’s as if I told him I am giving Hank away. He can not contain his disappointment and will go the distance when it comes to expressing his dismay. Some days I feel like every interaction we have is negative. That’s not fun. What I have come to terms with is that my stay in the valley with this child is arduous and plentiful. However, when we hit the peak, it’s pure gold. So, I am going to stay on the path. I am going to ride the wave, knowing that a peak is upon us. One day, when I am through this phase of parenting, I will look back and laugh at how miniscule these problem really were.
To the peaks.