A dear friend and former co-worker once told me that parenting is the most bittersweet job you will ever have. From the moment you hear that first cry your entire mission in life is to make them into functioning people so at some point they can pack up their car and head off on their own. This week that really hit home for me!
In the day to day functions of parenting I think many of us forget this is only a temporary job. The wiping of bums, the preparing of meals, washing dishes, doing laundry, wiping fingerprint of the same mirror four times in one day, and the constant picking up the same items time after time. . . . these things can be tedious. At times you can get angry for picking up that same pillow off your living room floor (the pillow you just put away 20 minutes ago). At times you forget what a privilege it is to be able to do this.
I think for us that message has even been more clouded. From the moment Gable was diagnosed we were told to be prepared to be his primary care giver for the rest of our lives. At that point our entire purposed turned into making him a functioning person - someone who would someday go off and live on his own (which now we know all those predictions where not founded, Gabe will be fine)
This week was hard for me. For the last 12 years I have had a young child with me at all times (except when working). Everything I do I do with my children. They are my life. Then on Tuesday I walked my babies down to the bus stop and sent them off to the next step of their lives, school.
The first five years of our children's lives are all ours. We shape them. We mold them. The habits and behaviors they get are from us. We are their biggest influence. Now that all changes. Now they look to their peers, they learn things from them, they choose who their friends are from a pool of people I do not know.
This week it really hit home that this is nothing but one long goodbye. . . .