Props To Parents

by Jessica Leffew

Parents & Procreation - Why PRO precedes CREATION.

You think you have some idea. You really do.

You think you can imagine what it will be like, but there is no way to really know.

What am I talking about?

Parent life!

Imagine what it's like to wake up 4-5 times a night to see if your newborn is ready to eat. Imagine the responsibility of negotiating a car through a deluge of rain, constantly worried about the fragile contents in the backseat. Imagine trying to get a word in with your spouse while answering your child's "Why," for the tenth time in the last minute.

Such is the reality of those who are experiencing life after procreation. I now realize why the word PRO precedes CREATION.

Am I complaining?

Not for a single moment!

These things are the reality of that special group of people who have been given the miraculous duty of bringing up another generation of human beings.

To commemorate Mother's and Father's Day, I want to give props to parents.

Whether our children were planned or an "Oops, how'd that happen," there is a remarkable responsibility found in being a parent. Hopefully we can all look into those faces everyday, realizing that, and make the conscious decision to build into them all the important things in life.

Are we teaching them to share? Are we teaching them to be compassionate? Are we teaching them to be polite? Are we teaching them to treat all people equally?

Remember that the things we instill in them today will mold them into the leaders and workforce of our next generation.

I'm not saying it's always easy. Lord knows there are moments that we all think of pulling our hair out as we run from the house screaming. That old advertisement, "Calgon, take me away," runs through my mind at least once a week as my newborn wakes up at the exact moment that my two tear old falls asleep.

As I wonder if I can make it through another day, I know that there is more important work being done here than just feeding, diapering and clothing kids.

There's the work of being real.

I have to remember to say I'm sorry to my two year old when I raise my voice at him for putting his paint-clad hand on my white skirt. By doing this, I teach him to apologize when he loses his temper.

I have to remember to go into my child's room and play with him rather than sitting on the couch and watching TV. This teaches him that he's more important to me than people I don't even know.

Our children learn from what we do, not just from what we say.

To the parent I say:

P - Pay attention to your needs as well as the needs of your children.
R - Remember to cultivate friendships in your world and not just your child's world.
O - Own up to the fact that it's OK not to have all the answers.
P - Pour yourself a cup of coffee every now and then, you deserve it.
S - Spouse's make great babysitters for "me time" moments in life.

As you negotiate each day with your own children, I want to thank you for the hard work you put into being a parent. You see I have a vitally important stake in how you bring up your children; they will be my children's friends, co- workers and, one day, his and her spouses.

Keep up the good work.

I'm depending on you.


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