As always, my Few Words Wednesday posts end up nearly as long as every other post I write. I had intended to post only the picture below, but best laid plans... :)
As the parents of a fifth grader and a third grader, Tom and I have reached what I would call "the thick" of parenting. We survived the hazy, sleep-deprived years of infancy, the physically exhausting years of toddlerhood, and the interrogative ("Mama, why is the sky blue? Mama, why can't the cat talk? Mama, why can't I hide in the dryer?") years of preschool. We lived to tell about sleep training, potty training, and learning to read, and we successfully sent two kids off to elementary school, supporting them as they tried a variety of different sports and activities and eventually encouraging them to develop their own individual passions.
And now, in "the thick" of parenting, all of these stages seem to have merged. Tom and I have basically become sleep-deprived, physically exhausted, human Google search engines who juggle school, extracurricular activities, sports, and passion projects, for our kids and for ourselves. We hit the ground running at 3pm (and I start preparing 90 minutes earlier), and don't stop until 8pm when we come together around the kitchen table for dinner and to relax, talk about our days, and try to stump each other with Trivial Pursuit questions.
We have jam-packed schedules and crazy busy lives...and I wouldn't change a thing.
I know many of you find yourselves in a similar place, so let's plan to "air high five" - as we pass one other in the Sonic drive-thru after school - as a sign of solidarity in our commitment to embrace and enjoy "the thick" of parenting. Because like every stage that came before, it won't last forever.
I don't believe in "glorifying busy", so please don't interpret this post as me doing so. I love this crazy life, but I also love having unscheduled downtime at home; we do our best to keep at least one weekday afternoon and one weekend day completely free. We also regularly reevaluate the kids' club memberships, organization involvement, athletic activities, etc. to make sure they are happy and not overwhelmed. This post is simply about appreciating each stage of parenting.