Being a parent

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Being a parent is the hardest and best job anyone can have.  It will not make you rich except in ways you cannot put a price on.  You start the job thinking you have all the knowledge you need only to discover that every day is a new learning experience.  If you made the mistakes at work that you make being a parent, you’d be fired.  Having a child is a matter of biology; being a parent is a matter of commitment.

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

A beautiful day at the start of autumn. Warm enough for the air conditioners to still run. No hint of the chill of winter that would soon make its appearance. Unlike the fall when the trees all change at once splashing color all over like the finale of a fireworks, there were only splashes of color here and there in a landscape that remained mostly green. The fields of corn, however, which had grown tall green stalks all summer were now turning to gold, gold in appearance and gold that would soon fill the farmers pockets, at least they hope if the price holds up. Most of that gold will be reinvested back into the soil come next spring.

Some children are returning to school, some are getting their first taste of “education”. At two- or three-years-old, children don’t realize they are being subjected to an environment to aid their discovery, what Kim calls “connecting the dots”. In child’s play we think of the pictures created as a child recognizes and orders numbers. In biology, it is the electrical firing between the neurons in the brain that takes place as a child learns. The importance of setting a culture that not only strengthens core knowledge, but helps a child to a healthy emotional path of dealing with other individuals is so underrated. Yet the advantages of children enriched by such a culture is so marked, it can be observed with the naked eye. The tests all prove it even though no.testing is required to demonstrate it.

The mark of a fully integrated human being includes the ability to take that learning process established early on and carry it on throughout life. It is especially vital as you take on new roles, particularly those of mother or father. Assuming you know all that you need to know because of the way in which you were raised is a faulty assumption. Common sense is so uncommon. If you think it “just makes sense” to do things a certain way, that thought should prod you to dig deeper. Raising children is such a fragile task, we can inflict permanent damage. If you choose that responsibilty or if it is thrust upon you, you must learn all you can. Life inflicts enough scars of its own without being mishandled by a well-meaning parent.

Taking on the roll of mother or father is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in life if you do it right. And along the way, don’t forget to pull out your camp chairs and just sit out staring up at the starry-lit night with your child. It will leave you with a feeling like nothing else.

Which comes first? … the love story or the family …

“For unto us a child is born …” it is indeed that time of year again when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. And it seems as if the rest of the world celebrates as well and there is nothing wrong with that no matter what the reason. If this is just the opportunity to pull the family together before the year ends and share a meal, a smile, and maybe pass a gift, good for you. No lectures from this blogger.

There is something that touches our souls in the anticipation of the birth of a child. A child is all hope and potential. They are starting out fresh, the slate is clean. It is all that they can do to take in breath and nourishment. Hopefully, in making it through the birth experience, they can have a few days of just bonding with the parents before trying to figure out life.

This is the start of something great, or is it? We want to believe that children are the result of a great love story, so the real start may have begun with the love story. Two fully integrated mature adults connecting in a spark that lights the universe. That’s the ideal. The reality may be something a little less romantic. Most children are still conceived as the result of a human anatomical process that may or may not have included a love story. And although the one giving birth was once a fresh new-born herself, full of hope and potential, life happens, and there may have been some damage along the way.

As smart as we are, with all of the advancements and technology that we have, we still struggle with the elephant in the room, our emotional intelligence. In the 1950s, “the pill” was created which helped prevent unwanted pregnancies, and with unbridled freedom, the “sexual revolution” took place. I’m no prude, but don’t undersell the importance of the love story in starting a family.

A love story goes way beyond magic in the bedroom. A love story includes loving your mate’s family, no matter how that may be composed. If you can’t stand your potential future in-laws, maybe this is as far as the relationship goes. The apple does not fall very far from the tree.

A love story includes discussions on values before you ever hook up. Talk about your dreams, where you want to live, what is important to you, religion, politics, music, what your hot buttons are, money, careers, children, nothing can be off the table. Work out your ranking system, deep dish pizza once a week may be a 2 for him, but a 9 for her. What kind of car do you want to drive? That may be a deal breaker right there.

A love story includes what you are thinking about that person when you are not with them. Do you think they have it easier than you do? Are you constantly worried that they are connecting with someone else? Do you think about things and places you want to share with them?

Love is a verb. It’s not something you fall into and out of. With rare exception, the birth or adoption of a child should have started long before with a love story.

The most beautiful woman in the world … exposed.

Jessie woke up in a sack full of warm fluid. She tried to stretch some, pushing a leg out, a hand forward.  Though she has no memory of any other time waking up in here, her space has become increasingly more cramped. There is nothing to look at, as it is always dark. She smells nothing since she is not breathing air into her lungs.  There is a constant rhythm “thump-thump, thump-thump” and the occasional vibration of noise that is sometimes strong and irritating, but sometimes soothing.  There are other sounds, gurgling, release of gas, growlings, in fact sometimes it sounds like a factory in full progress.  And there are pressures placed against her, not like being actually touched, but pressure from somewhere outside this chamber that is the only existence she knows.

In a few days to a few weeks, Jessie will leave this chamber of existence never to return again. It will be a frightful experience that will shock her entire system.  It must feel like death.  Don’t worry, she will have no memory of it. For now, she fairly enjoys this place she is in, but then, it’s the only existence she knows.

There is a woman carrying this chamber and the life inside.  And everything that happens to this woman is experienced by the one inside.  What she eats, what she drinks, what she smokes, chemicals she introduces to her body, stresses she incurs, and all sorts of emotional states all create more or less discomfort to Jessie. For Jessie, cells are replicating and specializing and reacting to the environment from which she is drawing her existence.  It’s a miracle.

This woman, the one with the life inside, she is the most beautiful woman in the world.  Be aware that what happens to her happens to the child inside.  Every child is a gift from God. That includes the one soon to give birth.  That includes us all. That includes the little one soon to make an appearance.  How will you treat the ones you wake up with?