Friday, October 31, 2008

on being a parent

I would like to write something clever or interesting, but my brain is all used up, so this will probably be more informative than entertaining. Life lately has been good, and full. The other night I was thinking about the past two weeks, and where my time and thoughts have gone, and realized I really had not played or talked as much with Asher as I normally do. My first thought was frustration - there's no such thing as coasting in this job, ever. Your choices are to be proactive or reactive, but you can't glide by without paying for it later. Why does it always have to be so much work? I thought. Which got me to thinking.

I work at home because I want to build a relationship with my children. This is where I put most of my energy, and the relationship, more than meeting their physical needs, is the "work" I'm referring to. I want to see my children become thoughtful, engaged, selfless, kind. Thinking about how hard building a relationship is - in showing them the qualities I hope they absorb, and doing so consistently - reminded me of the first few years of marriage. The first two years felt so HARD. Every decision seemed important, every pattern was being formed, every frustration had to be hashed out. Obviously it was worth it, but the truth is the longer I'm married, the more I like it. Building our relationship took a tremendous amount of energy, and I enjoy reaping the benefits of that work now.

This morning I spent Silas's nap (which turned into most of the morning) playing with Asher. We stacked blocks, read books, painted, colored, ate together, played with puzzles. Every time I would think he was ready to venture out on his own, he would announce, "Play Mama!" and I would follow along. It is a lot of work, keeping up with his mental pace and his brother's physical demands, but it is work I believe in. One day my relationship with both of them will be established, and everything won't feel as hard as it does now. Until then, just as it was in the beginning of marriage, every decision will be important, every conflict hashed out. It's the only way I know to learn to work with the people I love. And while my mind may be exhausted (and my blog conspicuously lacking), the relationships are worth the effort.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Absolutely! These moments are so precious, and I think the way they view their parents when they are angsty teenagers will be affected by the way their minds are being formed to think about us now.