Go for the Ride

“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” ― Debra Ginsberg

Last week my biggest little began another adventure in the form of a new school year. At the ripe age of 3 she’s gone from two half days to three. I’m gutted.  As I’m licking my wounds it dawned on me that more will follow. This whole roots and wings thing is challenging.

I’m sure some seasoned parent is smirking. “You ain’t seen nothing yet, sweetheart.” Guys, I know. This is why I’m freaking out. And despite the heavy responsibility and crazy uncertainty of parenthood, I find pleasure in the pain. I live to see her discover independence. I am at peace watching her overcome challenges or navigate emotional scenarios. Wiping away her tears is serendipitous because of the privilege of parenthood. On this very topic I could ramble for days. 

But the real purpose of this post is to issue the reminder to recall and relish the roller coaster.

Not too long ago I was walking along Main Street with my dynamic duo when a woman stopped me to say hello. She said seeing me with my girls reminded her of family. As she spoke about her fondness of Madison Christmas parades, library story times, and Bottle Hill Days, her eyes dampened. But before the first tear fell, she told me to appreciate and celebrate every moment. 

I try to do this, but there’s nothing like the tears of a fellow mama to serve as a poignant reminder.  Like a roller coaster, every loop, twist, or turn of parenthood is thrilling and swift.

We’re about to be thrust into school calendar chaos and seasonal celebrations. No matter the temptation, don’t complain, sit on the sidelines, or become distracted by the unimportant. Push through the pain to rediscover and revel in the joy.

My friends, go for the ride.