Parenting is one of those terrifying, exhilarating and incredibly fulfilling life experiences. From the moment that baby is placed into your hands, you now wear a hundred different hats – Caretaker, chef, taxi driver, nurse, teacher, counselor… The demands are high, the pay is low (or non-existent) but at the end of the day, you can’t help but look back and believe that it’s all worth it.
We dedicate an unbelievable amount of time and energy to being the best example that we can be, teaching them the ways of life. After all, you are the one responsible for teaching them everything from basic life skills like tying their shoe, to how to address their elders, the correct way to interact with people in positions of authority to the discovering the joy in life. Sure, we’re not perfect and you’re going to make a mistake from time to time, but that’s all part of the parenting experience. We’re learning right alongside them.
Eventually, there will come a time that you hand over a significant portion of the education aspect to a professional as your child goes away to school (unless, of course, you’re homeschooling) but don’t get too excited, your job isn’t done yet! You will continue to be their main source of ‘life lessons,’ while working to support them through their formal education. You have years of helping with homework, working on projects, explaining textbooks and teaching time management ahead yet!
Throughout all this, you will share laughter and tears, frustration and relief. Your child is going to give you reasons to celebrate and frustrate you enough that you want to rip your hair out. There may even come a time that they scare you senseless. Every now and then the student will become the teacher, and you will find yourself taking a valuable life lesson from your child – even if you choose not to admit it (don’t need to stroke a teenager’s ego).
There is a cute story circulating the internet about a goodbye letter left for a parent. The details seem to have changed and altered as the story has been shared, making it a little more difficult to track down its origin. Regardless, it’s a story that is so good that it’s worth sharing. In one version, it Is told as a father and his 16-year-old daughter Anna. He came home and searched the house, only to discover that his daughter was nowhere to be found. As he was searching for her, he discovered her shoes missing from the hallway and a handwritten note on her bed. The contents of the note were alarming, but there was a surprise awaiting him at the end:
“Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I’m eloping with my new boyfriend Muhammad.
I’ve finally found true love, and he’s just great! I especially love his cute piercings, sexy scars, cool tattoos and his big motorcycle!
And that’s not all – I’m expecting a child with Muhammad, and I’m already three months pregnant. We’re going to settle down in his trailer, and he says that he wants even more children. I’m so happy!!! And guess what? We’re going to get married next week!
He’s also explained to me that weed isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be, so now we’re growing 17 plants behind our trailer. We’ll have enough for him and his friends, and in return, they’ll give us as many pills as we want.
I do hope that they find a cure for AIDS soon, so that Muhammad can get better – he really deserves it. Don’t worry about money – Muhammad’s friends Juan and Stanislav are in the movie business, and they’ve arranged for me to become an actress!
The job pays pretty well, 50 dollars per take, and I get another 50 if there are more than three men in the same scene. So, don’t worry about me – I’m 16 years old and can take care of myself.
The next time I come to visit, you’ll get to see your grandchild!
P.S. Dad, none of this is true – I only popped over to Emma’s place to watch some TV. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than The Patriots losing to The Eagles!
See you in a bit!”
Image via Viral Square