Monday, December 17, 2012

Parenting is not for wimps

No one said parenting is easy, and if they did they should have their head examined.
Parenting is the toughest gig going and even a trip to the grocery store can induce heart failure.
The other day I saw a young mom with two young children: a girl who was around four, the boy about two.
She was loading groceries into the trusty mini-van while the two blond-haired bundles of energy chatted and danced around next to her car because that is what kids do.
The term perpetual motion was coined by a parent with young children because they rarely stop running, jumping, vibrating or moving for more than a few seconds.
And that is exactly what these youngsters were doing.
Mom had loaded the groceries, and was putting the cart back when things went a little haywire.
The youngest of the two thought it would be great fun to run across the lane to the car, causing instant panic in mom who immediately called out her son’s name.
His older sister decided she would help by running across the lane to retrieve her brother – even more panic from mom who was now in full pursuit of both of them.
The little man decided it was a game and ran around to the front of the van, giggling the whole way, while big sister gave chase.
Mom was franticly trying to catch them both when the little man rounded the front of the van and was heading full speed back to the lane – still giggling his head off.
Big sister was close, but mom was powered by the energy of panic and leapt over big sister to grab the wee one before he reached back of the van. Despite the crazed look on her face, mom had saved the day and all was well, thus ending another brief adventure in the life of a mom.
Although I am obviously not a mom, I am a dad and I could relate to the entire incident – especially the feeling of panic when one of your flock is in possible danger.
The worst feeling I have ever had in my life was when Junior was three years old. I was in the livingroom with his little brother, who was only a few months old, when I looked in the back yard and could not see Junior.
It was a small, fenced backyard so I knew he had to be there. Maybe he was behind the shed. I handed little brother to my wife and stepped outside just to make sure my first born was where I thought he was.
He wasn’t, and that is where pure, stark-raving panic gripped my rapidly beating heart. It was a small backyard and I could see the entire thing from where I stood, but there was no Junior anywhere to be seen.
“OK, calm down. Relax and think. He must be out here. Just take another careful look around,” is what I tried to tell myself, but my brain was already thinking of every worst-case scenario I had ever heard of.
So, I did what any husband would do in such a situation: I yelled to my wife for help.
She came flying out the door and we both began calling for Junior with obvious concern in our voices.
Within minutes our neighbours came out of their townhouses to help us look.
It was then that I noticed movement behind a tree in the neighbour’s yard.
It would seem Junior had learned how to climb the fence and thought it would be great fun to hide under a bush in the next yard.
When I spotted him he came running out his hiding spot all full of smiles and giggles.
“I tricked you daddy.”
The relief I felt at seeing him was in direct proportion to the dread I felt when I thought he was gone and in a matter of minutes I experienced the worst and best feelings I have ever had, thus ending another moment in the life of a parent.

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