Parenting diploma?

I kept an eye on them from the kitchen window as my five children played in the back yard, washing the dishes I drifted back in time when I had no responsibilities, back when life was carefree, I could read books, use the bathroom and do other things without interruption. Life was good back then, “but life is way better now” I mused to myself. Working my way through the pile of dishes I felt relief and satisfaction on another task done. Rinsing my hands and throwing the dish towel onto the rack I stepped out the kitchen door intending on gathering the last of the dry towels from the laundry line. The breeze blew the towels gently as I gathered them across my left arm, throwing the clothespins into my red bucket. Grabbing the bucket of clothes pins I set them inside the mudroom. Folding the towels, I set them onto the bathroom shelf.

Just then the door flew open, all five of my children came piling into the kitchen. “MOM we want a snack” the usual ruckus ensued as they gathered around the table with snacks in hand. The older four got their pile of books to read, I grabbed a washcloth, wiping my two-year old’s dirty hands and face. He might have eaten some dirt I guessed, from the amount of grit around his mouth. Chuckling I rinsed the dirt off the cloth and hung it across the sink. He was extremely cranky; I knew a twenty-minuet nap would be the magic trick, I took him into the bedroom changed his diaper and settled him into his crib, tucking his favorite blanket into his tiny hand. He protested for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep.  I wondered how I had gotten so lucky to have these five little ones to love and hold.

As I write this, I get a bit emotional because my youngest one is seventeen and holding down a summer job, he will be a senior next school year. My one daughter is married to a wonderful husband. My other daughter is wanting to be a successful author. My oldest and my middle sons are doing well for themselves. They are all five amazing young adults who will impact the world in their own unique way. I get to say they are my children and watch them fly, make mistakes and the wisdom that is unlocked from those mistakes. Parenting is a truly rewarding, humbling job. There is no one perfect way of doing it. This is not something you can learn ahead of time, get the degree and say “I graduated, now let’s do this” as much as you try to prepare yourself for the job of mom or dad before the first one is born, the curve balls start to fly as soon as they make an entrance into your life. I love the saying ‘pick your battles wisely’ because there are so many. Most days its reminding yourself to breath and congratulating yourself on the small wins! You never graduate from the role of parent so don’t go looking for the diploma! Cheering from the stands, for all you parents out here getting it done!