Monday, January 23, 2012

mount everest parenting.

thanks to my beautiful sister-friend, betsy
[who just had her second equally beautiful boy —
welcome to the world, baby o!!],
for sharing a brilliant parenting perspective
from the huffington post's glennon melton,
titled don't carpe diem:

"i think parenting young children (& old ones, i've heard)
is a little like climbing mount everest.

brave, adventurous souls try it because they've heard
there's magic in the climb.

they try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb,
are impressive accomplishments.

they try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to
pause & lift their eyes & minds from the pain & drudgery,
the views are breathtaking.

they try because even though it hurts & it's hard,
there are moments that make it worth the hard.
these moments are so intense & unique that many people
who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again.

even though any climber will tell you that
most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer.
that they literally cried most of the way up."

omg, am i feeling this.

ok, owning it:
if they did job interviews for parenting,
then either i'd never have gotten the position to begin with,
or i'd have been limited to the newborn-adolescent division.

i'm feeling i'm not a good "fit" for parenting a teen.

of course, the natural next question for sardonic adults such as myself is,
"who is??"

& maybe assuming there are parents who "get" their teenagers,
who can sustain the teen tantrums without breaking a sweat
[or pouring a half-glass of pinot grigio or requesting a prescription],
who can be helpful to their child without being vilified for it by said child,
maybe assuming such parents exist is part of my problem.

but there definitely seem to be parents around
who are riding the waters | waves | tsunamis of adolescence
with relative ease, while i flail & sputter & gulp for air,
perpetually just moments from being dragged under for good.

but now i'm mixing my mother-nature metaphors . . .
c'mon, kristen — is it mountain-climbing or tsunami-riding?

well, maybe it's both. or maybe it's neither. i don't know.
but treacherous? exhausting? killer? this, i know.

& i know those pauses — the ones when i lift
my eyes & mind from the pain & drudgery in front of me
to soak in the breathtaking views?
those are definitely harder to remember to take.

it's a big-ass mountain, y'all.
& i reckon i haven't even entered the death zone yet.
but i didn't begin this climb to surrender to the elements.

so i guess i'll just keep on scrambling & traversing,
pausing whenever i feel the call to rest & survey the landscape . . .

trying to appreciate the spectacular in this miracle called everyday life,
& cherishing each breath as the atmosphere thins.

image source: photo by ryszard pawłowski, courtesy of wikipedia.

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