November 4, 2013

12 things I didn't understand about my parents until I had kids

1. They knew when I was lying, even if they didn't always call me out for it.

2. When my mom let me sleep with her on scary nights, it was as much for her comfort as for mine.

3. My dad wasn't just being contrary; he truly couldn't fathom why anyone would like that song or pay that much for those jeans.

4. When I thought the audience was entranced by the artistic nuances of my recitals and concerts, they were all politely waiting for their own child's moment to shine.

5. It is entirely reasonable to own dishes that your immediate family is not allowed to use.

6. Drinking a bottle of wine and having a long conversation with other adults is a fun way to spend a Saturday night.

7. There is a constant, painful tension between wanting no harm to ever befall our children, and knowing that their challenges and mistakes are the sources of character and wisdom.

8. It's no coincidence that the loudest toys are always the quickest to run out of batteries.

9. Keeping track of school, activities, and life is a Herculean feat of coordination. It's unfair that, no matter how many times we get it right, our kids will probably remember the forgotten permission slip or the time they got picked up late from play practice.

10. The years really do pass that quickly.

11. As much as I loved my canaries and my hamsters and my stuffed animals, there is no apt metaphor for parental love. It is bigger than anything a child can imagine, anything a parent can ever describe.

12. Despite how I once saw them, my parents weren't born with parental authority and competence. They were winging it, just like I am.

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