As parents, we are privileged to watch our children grow, make friends, explore the world and learn new things. We try to do our best for them and help them along the way, all the while realising that there are just some things that we cannot get involved in. We help them traverse the unknown territory that is growing up and hope that we don't screw up too much along the way.
As parents, we hurt to see our children sick or in pain and know that, although we'd dearly love to try, there is actually very little we can do to take it away and make it all better. To see them bullied at school, or fall on the sidewalk, or have a medical issue - it makes us ache inside with the need to fix it.
As parents, we can sometimes struggle through the day as our children drive us up the wall and fill us with the desire to drink an entire bottle of wine in one sitting. As they whine, bug, fight with each other and mess up the house as they follow around behind us like a mini tornado, we can sometimes be found hiding in the pantry, taking deep breaths and counting to 10 in an effort to curb the adult temper tantrum that is brewing. Our patience can be tested regularly throughout the day and we often look forward to bed time when we can look at them and think "it's a good thing they're cute".
As parents, our hearts can swell with pride with every achievement and milestone, no matter how big or small. We save art work and certificates, we cheer from the sidelines at sports games while wishing for the other team to lose, we diligently turn up to school plays and parent/teacher meetings and we cheer when the report cards come home (assuming they don't have "should definitely attend summer school" written all over them).
Over the years I have watched, with fascination and dread, as the children have grown. I have been through everything I've just mentioned....even just in the last week.
As I watched Girl Spawn laying in bed sniffing away, I wanted nothing more than to make it better....if for no other reason than the fact that this stuffy nose that she's been fighting seems to have caused her to snore like a wild boar and it reverberates through the house.
When Hotty Hubby was trying to sleep before a night shift and the spawnlets were busily screaming at each other and steadfastly ignoring me, I locked myself in the bathroom and counted to 50 in the hopes of bypassing the urge to smack their heads together and lock them in the garage before finishing the bottle of wine in my fridge.
Every time one of them comes home from school with a certificate for doing something great, or a green slip for great behaviour, we are very proud. We enforce homework every night, we encourage reading and we attend all our parent/teacher interviews in an effort to better understand what is happening in our children's lives.
When we first moved here, we enrolled the kids at a local public school. It was easy, it was close (although everything in this town is close) and it was cheap. Girl Spawn settled in ok, made a few friends, but it was nothing spectacular. Boy Spawn, on the other hand, did not fare so well. He has always been a very outgoing child and has been able to make friends with just about anyone. Yet, somehow, this didn't happen. He's not really drawn to the rough and tumble boys. He is happy to BE rough & tumble, but not all the time. Neither of them really settled very well, so we started looking at other options.
Now they attend a local Christian school. It was a stretch for Hotty Hubby as he's rather the type that fears being smited should they set foot in a Holy place, but he's going with the flow for now. It's only got a roll of about 100 kids, compared to the 300+ at the previous school. They wear a nicer (and more expensive) uniform and there are only 5 classes. The kids have settled amazingly well and they couldn't be happier.
During the last two weeks of June, the school ran a Talent Quest. In the past, when I've been involved in a school Talent Quest, it has been only the kids that thought they had a talent worth sharing that bothered to enter. At this school, it was mandatory for ALL kids to enter at least 3 categories. Their philosophy (being a Christian school) is that all the kids have something to offer.
I wish I'd thought to take pictures of the work that was produced. It was amazing! 7 year olds painting beautiful pictures, metal work, wood work, sculptures, and more. Absolutely fantastic.
Boy Spawn (almost 6) chose to enter in a Connect 4 playoff, do some baking, enter the handwriting contest, play soccer and make a craft. He ended up coming second in the playoff, first in handwriting and soccer for his age category, first in the baking in the "slices" category for his Lolly Cake, and he made a terrarium filled with cactuses (cactii?).
Girl Spawn (almost 8) chose to enter in the handwriting contest, do some art, make some jewellery and do some photography. Let me tell you, I don't think she's ever going to be an artist (not in the painting/drawing sense anyway) or excel at jewellery making...but she sure had fun! Where she DID excel is the photography. She won FIRST place for her photo for best use of lighting. It's amazing what a kid can achieve when you let them loose in a graveyard with a digital camera (she chose the place). Here's the winning shot:
As a parent, I have spent a lot of time feeling incredibly proud of my children this past little while and feeling very, very honoured to be their mother.
What you love best & dislike the most about being a parent?