All the Small Things

CaptureThis kid you guys…THIS KID!  It doesn’t seem like too long ago the wife and I were stressing over little man’s first day of preschool.  A new environment, new people, away from the house for a few hours each day…how was he going to survive?  As we pulled out of the school parking lot that first day in tears, we got a picture showing J enjoying class.  He loved it.  He loves school.  All that fear we had washed away.

To back up a bit and explain our fear a bit more you have to get into our shoes.  Our son had just turned three and still had some pretty bad separation anxiety.  He also wasn’t talking.  What seems to be a slight speech delay certainly added to our fear as we dropped him off in this entirely new environment.  We wouldn’t be there to comfort him.  What if he got hurt…what if he needed something and couldn’t communicate…all these questions swirled through the air.  But baby steps and milestones over the months have put those questions behind us.

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Praying…It works.

This is probably a post I never thought I would write.  I’ve had a rocky relationship with church over the years and had always felt I didn’t get it…wasn’t part of the “in crowd”.  Just missing that final piece of the faith puzzle.  In any case, over the past year I’ve found a church family and home that I love (yeah…I’m talking about you 4 Corners Church!).  It’s been an amazing experience not only or myself, but for my family.  It’s allowed me to take baby steps in faith and start to break down the cynical wall that I had placed up over the years.  These baby steps recently involved praying.  This is what happened…

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Parenting: Nothing is perfect…and that’s just fine.

“I could have been a famous singer if I had someone else’s voice, but failure’s always sounded better.  Let’s f*ck it up boys, make some noise!” – ‘Road to Joy’ by Bright Eyes

When I hear the above lyrics, it is a reminder to me that even when things aren’t going the way you may have expected or thought…they can still be great, amazing, and fun.  For me, this rings true around parenting.  It’s not always going to go according to plan, but that by no means that it isn’t an amazing experience.  It’s a reminder that while I may have my doubts about how I’m doing and may not always be perfect, the love I have my son speaks volumes to him.

For me, the parent I thought I would be and the one I am came to be two different people.  I thought I would be laid back, having things come easy as the little guy learned and grew.  What I’ve learned is that I’m pretty high strung and worry all the time about his development and growth.  While these can be good traits to have, I’ve come to realize they can be a hindrance.  No child follows a set path as they grow up.  If you focus constantly on the fits, tantrums, compare to other kids, you lose focus on the bigger picture.  In front of you sits a healthy, happy, loving kid, who is awesome.  There isn’t a set path.  It’s one step at a time and he’s there, holding your hand along the way.

As we’ve walked down this parenting path together, he has taught me more than I would have ever thought.  He doesn’t look at me with doubt in his eyes or that things aren’t perfect.  To him, right now, they are.  The love of a child changes you…it will break you.  Literally, when they pull you down to their level out of the blue, pull you in close, and hug the crap out of you…you know things will be just fine.  It’s in those moments that I know that I’m doing something right.

So, in the end, I’m growing and learning as a parent, as we grow together as a family.  It isn’t the path laid out in the books…I’ve learned I don’t want it that way.  Since when has normal been fun?  We’re forging our own way, making our own waves.  Perfection is not what I want…happiness and joy are.  When you leave your preconceived notions as the door and go along with what life gives you, you will be happier for it.

We’re going to conquer this world and it’s going to be amazing along the way.  C’mon kid…let’s make some noise!