So, it's true, what they say: that parenting is not always easy--that kids don't come with manuals so how in the world are we supposed to know that poinsettias are poisonous and anything that fits through a toilet paper roll is a choking hazard? How is one supposed to decipher the true effects of vaccines, HFCS and Spongebob? With the choice of any school in the district, am I a bad mom for not attending a single open house and using "on the bike path" as my sole criterion? I use bribes, forget to brush and we're working on a pretty decent-sized list of words that "you really shouldn't use in school, or anywhere outside of our home. Please."
But once in a while, the universe tilts to give you just the perspective you need.
Tonight, we shared the park with 8 other kids, between the ages of 6-14. Their parents were there, too: both of them. They were the foster parents of these eight children who had some obvious challenges and, as with all humans, many more issues unseen... And there were the parents, eating ice cream as if they were ENJOYING themselves. As if they could just sit there and EAT ICE CREAM. As if they weren't a cross between the most insane people on the planet and my absolute superstar heroes.
One of the 8 tried to push Jezebel (she totally had it coming), and they dealt with it immediately and so very well that I wanted to write down the words they used.
Another was a crazy good gymnast who was flipping and tumbling all over the place and they laughed and encouraged him to do crazy stuff.
Another was sad and they just hung out with her, with their arms linked.
My god... how do they keep up? And did they vaccinate? And how often do they shoe shop?
As I pushed my wee ones on the swing, so in awe of these people, and so grateful that there are people willing to be parents to kids who so desperately need them, I realized, once again, that we're all doing just fine-- even on our worst days. We love them, they know it and that's all that ever matters.
Which is a good thing, because this picture was taken just as Winona was yelling at Jezebel, "You just crapped the scare out of me!"