I freaked out on the kids about Oreos this week. I may have raised my voice about the freeze-dried strawberries in the Special K box. And there was a close call involving glitter in the toilet. I’m willing to bet some of you had similar experiences. Week three chewed me up. I was beginning to amaze even myself at the things I could get annoyed about. So, I hid in the basement for awhile, doubled down on baking bread and started thinking about Abraham Lincoln.
“This too shall pass” was Lincoln’s favorite saying. Will this pandemic end? Yes. Will the world go back to normal? No. I think it took three weeks for that to really sink in for me. Our lives will not pick back up one day as if this never happened. We are walking a bridge to a changed world. I think that might be why I had a meltdown about the world’s best-selling sandwich cookie.
Lincoln’s real gift was his ability to focus on the terribly onerous tasks he faced with both humor and deadly seriousness. Do what you can, endure what you must. Each day is a new battle to say yes to what matters and say no to what doesn’t. We’re being reminded every day that when the world goes crazy, what’s left is family. Try not to yell at them about their dessert choices.
Strange and interesting times, huh? That’s how we’re trying to pitch it to the girls after Ally woke up Thursday morning in a panic over not having Purell to take to school.
I sometimes worry that I complain too much about the kids here or what it costs (physically, mentally, emotionally) to try to be a good parent. But of course it’s totally worth the cost.
We pay a high price for these little monsters but we get so much in return.
And it’s not the vacation memories. Or the holidays. Or the dance recitals. Or any of the ‘big’ moments. It’s the ordinary moments: TV on the couch, playing in the yard, eating dinner together, even attending the (endless) shows.
And yes this is absolutely a pep talk for when the wine runs out on Thursday.
This week Cecilia created a set of flashcards to study for a social studies assessment. Not sure if I’m allowed to call it a test. Regardless, it might have been one of my proudest moments as a Dad and proof that the slow drip parenting method might pay off. I lived and breathed flash cards in school. If Michelle hasn’t found them yet and taken them to the transfer station, I’m sure there is at least one box of dog-eared index cards in the basement. I’ve been trying to get Ce to use them for years.
It would be nice if our kids just accepted our advice and could avoid all the pain and mistakes that led us to learn it in the first place but you quickly realize as a parent that this is not how it works. And, frustrating as it may be to watch them run head first into the wall, it’s probably for the best. To really learn, you have to really screw up. Best to do it when you’re young. A good parent lets them touch the hot stove. Rhetorically, of course.
But honestly, it would be easier if she had just made flash cards in the first place.