The toughest gig in town. (aka Parent be thy name.)

We all, those of us with children, always hope to be the best parent there is. At least I think MOST of us do.

But, it’s a tough gig, this parenting thing.  In fact it’s the toughest job in the world if you are truly honest with yourself. 

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how parents try so very hard to keep their children on the straight and narrow.  We try to teach them to have integrity, to have good morals, to be kind to others, to love themselves and all the other important things that make one a good person and a good citizen. 

But hell, that’s exhausting.  In fact, I think that if we are all truly honest here, we will admit that when the kids are between the ages of 0 -21- we are just trying to keep THEM alive all the while trying not lose our ever-loving minds.

We spend our days rushing them to school, to events, to this and that ALWAYS feeling rushed and late. They forget to tell us we have to hem pants for the next night that we MIGHT have to go buy at a shop that MIGHT be closed at 11:00 p.m.  They forget to tell us that they need snacks for a multi-cultural day at their school the next day that will give them “extra credit and I think I really need it to pass the class so please, please, please”.  Oh, and perhaps they forget to tell us they were FAILING A CLASS. They forget their instruments, homework assignments, permission slips and appointments-but we do our very best to always right the ship.

We spend twenty some years running an invisible, frantic marathon- with no make-up, horrible nails, no real sleep, an exhausted bank account and stretch pants with holes in them against a foe we can’t even see.  How can we POSSIBLY fit in the time to teach them the valuable and important lessons to help them be the people we want them to be?


Today I had an epiphany.

While I was busy answering every phone call, hemming every pair of pants I bought at the last minute, driving across the world and back to sporting events, emptying my change jar and finding money where there wasn’t any, running them to and fro and reminding them each and every single day how much I love them – I might have inadvertently taught them an important thing or two.

I am preparing to help Sassy move to Tampa with her fella.  She is leaving Erie, Pa – and 3 jobs that she’s been working.  Three. She has a college degree in accounting from a highly accredited university- and is STILL working 3 jobs.  She calls me every single day, and even though we still may not always see eye-to-eye she tells me she loves me every day.  (As do the Bitchy and The Golden Boy.)

The epiphany? I think it’s this - it’s not the words that come out of your mouth every single day that impact your children- but your actions.  Do you spread kindness?  Are your actions pure?  Are your actions just?  Do they serve others instead of yourself? I can’t be sure if mine always did but I have always strived for that. I have always just wanted to do the right thing.

Now, I thank the Powers That Be every single day that I didn’t screw the kids up TOO much, and that they are (so far) the amazing souls I always hoped they would be. They all work VERY hard, call their mom every day,  aren't in jail(so far), don't do drugs and are kind and decent human beings. 

Parenthood.  It’s the TOUGHEST gig in town.   But it’s the one that will bring you the greatest, most beautiful joy you never ever knew existed.