Sometimes I think I am an exceptional parent. I attend all the events, I pay for the shiny new instrument, I teach math(which is 100% above my pay grade), and I quiz Spanish on the fly. And then, I have days where I manage to shoot myself in the eye with dried ginger.
With all the facts, I’d have to say my parenting level is mediocre, with a side everlasting trying and failing.
Most peoples journey into parenthood starts with months of waiting, labor, diapers, and pools of drool.
Our journey into parenthood was mostly by accident. And no, not that kind of accident. We fell into foster care when a child in our family was in need of a new home. So we faced five months of training, paperwork, and waiting for our nine-year-old baby to arrive at our door. We didn’t know that adoption(we call it three years of labor) was going to be such a hard path.
The hardest part about this journey has been the early years. Babies forget that you dropped them, or that they exploded poop up their backside, which then, forced you to projectile vomit into the closest thing that looked like a garbage bin. And as young children, they forget(or so you hope they do) that time when they burst into your room to find parents that are ‘wrestling.’
Now, nine-year-olds remember everything. There is no forgiveness of parenting mishaps and no reprieve for handling situations that you’re just winging(which is all situations). They also are trained manipulation ninjas. They already know how to play the mom vs. dad card, and lying is as natural as breathing.
Knowing all of this we still do our best as parents, and we expect to flounder. We give ourselves grace about what level we are at in parenting. Because, in the end, no matter how exceptional I think we are there’s still a good chance that I’ll accidentally shoot dried ginger into my eye.