Monday, May 02, 2011

They, They, They...

There are a lot of things that "they" never tell you before you have children.

They never tell you that you'll forget what it's like to have an abundance of free, silent, Alone Time.

They never tell you that you will eventually look in the mirror and say "Meh. Good enough." as you head out to WalMart with 3 kids in tow, wearing 2 day-old jeans and a ratty pony tail. And that you'll actually Be OKAY with this situation!

And They never tell you that raising your own child will mean that you will also have to participate in raising the children of your friends and neighbors. That, for your child to have friends, you have to navigate the murky waters of Other People's Children. OPC are an entity to themselves. They have the ability to keep you awake into the wee hours of the morning, fretting over the politics of "Who was right, who was wrong? How do we encourage them to work things out without overstepping our bounds? Why am I worrying about 9 year old friendships to begin with and when can I go back to sleep*?"

They never tell you that you will feel every slight, every cut, every disappointment more keenly as a bystander than when you were young yourself. All the wisdom in the world can't give my kids the knowledge that only comes from first-hand experience.

It's been a period of lesson-learning in the JAMB household. I am hoping with every fiber in my being that this particular lesson of cooperation, empathy, and kindness is absorbed by my middle child. It'll be a long and lonely summer, otherwise...

*Answer: In about 18-20 years. Give or take. Then again, college and marriage and grandkids will surely keep me up at night...
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