Have you ever noticed how much writing about parenting centers around babies and young children? I guess that's when the biggest learning curve is. But the learning never stops . . . it can't. These kids and the times keep changing and forcing us to adapt.
Nearly twenty-one years into parenting (which was preceded by twelve years of providing childcare), I find I am still figuring things out. Here are some recent realizations I've had:
1. My personal expectations for what a college experience should be are (possibly outdated and) not my kids' expectations. Also, these are really weird times, anyway. Nothing's normal.
2. Just as when they were younger and I had to learn how to accept help from my village, I now find myself learning to accept the fact that sometimes we need to pay money to have people help us do the things we could/should/used to do. (I'm looking at you, Kumon. I'm grateful we can get your services for the kids, but could you . . . maybe make the face on your logo look a *tiny* bit happier??)
3. Also, in regards to #2: I know what I said. But things change: our younger kids are different types of learners than our older kids and the past year and a half of hybrid education has not been easy. And we still squeeze in plenty of hammock lazing, bone finding, music making, swims and bike rides.
|Totally still a magical summer.|
4. After the world's easiest girl-child followed by three boys, I have learned that I am, and I cannot stress this enough, I am woefully ill-equipped to deal with a pre-menstrual pre-teen. My god, is this what other people have been dealing with all along??
5. Lastly, and this is where I get sappy: in spite of having to swallow the semi-bitter pill of accepting these new realities, the best realization I've had recently was remembering the enormity of this privilege. I actually started to cry about it when I was talking about this the other day:
I've been thinking about some of our friends who have kids our older kids' ages and then, like normal people, stopped having babies. They're nearly empty-nesters now, with their kids all off at college. Yet I'm still scrambling every day to figure out dinner for seven and who's picking up the thirteen-year-old later and did everyone do their summer tutoring work and should I sign the fifteen-year-old up for that basketball camp . . . .?
And that makes me feel so incredibly lucky.