21 May 2011

The Highs and Lows of Parenting

     This is what they should teach during sex ed classes.  Not abstinence vs safe sex, but what becoming a parent really means.  Then no kid in their right mind would bump uglies!  Never mind those young girls who have a baby so that someone will love them.  I'm pretty sure there are times that my kids JUST DON'T LOVE ME.  Today, however, is not one of those days.  Today is a day when both kids really seem to love me AND like me.  Go figure.

     The other day, The Boy received a Certificate of Academic Achievement from the K12 iCademy.  He has worked really hard this past semester.  Working really hard for him is even harder than for some other kids because in addition to being on the spectrum, he also has a non-verbal learning disability.  But he has soldiered on through tantrums, melt-downs and fits of hyper activity to get it done.  And it shows.  And it is not just me noticing.  I think the fact that someone other than Mom/Teacher is noticing his hard work makes him feel good.  Heck, I don't think it, I know it.  He's been walking a little taller since receiving the Certificate.  And he is a little nicer to his sister.  This is one of the highs of parenting.  Seeing your child feel proud of accomplishing something.  Seeing your child stand a little straighter, walk a little taller, smile a little wider, and feel a little bit better about himself, that makes all the other stuff seem insignificant.

     Today though, Princess is not feeling particularly good about herself because her feelings were hurt by her only neighborhood friend who speaks English.  A small group of girls, most of whom Princess knows and plays soccer with, are playing together and excluded Princess because she doesn't know Norwegian, they don't know much English, and the one bilingual girls doesn't feel like translating.  While I can fully understand the desire to play rather than "work" at translating, it doesn't lessen the sting of seeing your child left out.  It doesn't help that Princess doesn't understand that it is "work" to constantly translate back and forth.  Especially when the translator is only nine years old.  These types of slights are certainly one of the lows of parenting.  I know they are a part of life and that Princess will get past it - I think to some degree she has already - but it still sucks.  I also know it won't be the last time she's excluded from something or another, but it still sucks.  It doesn't suck any less when you're an adult.  But as a parent it seems to suck twice as much.

     These highs and lows are part of life and certainly part of parenting.  But they don't tell you this while you're in the hospital having just given birth!  Oh, they teach you how to diaper and bathe your baby. Big whoop!  They don't tell you that you'll end up reliving all your own childhood highs and lows all over again as your own children go through theirs.

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