Monday, May 23, 2011

Equal Partnership

Recently, I found myself explaining to a bunch of students the idea that bringing up children in tomorrow's world was challenging. I cited cost of living and the massive influx of values as the main reasons. But I did add that the one aspect that might actually be slightly easier would be parenting. The reason for that assertion that was within an increasing number of young families, the father's role was no longer the silent-distant- bring home the bacon one.

I am thankful that Packrat is a father like that.

Recently, I have been massively, way over my head swamped. And despite him working hours that are longer than mine, he has gallantly stepped up onto the plate and taken over much of the parenting. He revolves everything around my schedule, makes sure that I spend as much time as I can with the children before rushing off and then takes over with a smile that reassures me that my children are in good hands.

Of course, the anal slightly obsessive me cringes when he tells me that the children watched the entire Toy Story movie (Eyes!) and that when he took all 3 out to breakfast, Muffin had a little bit of hotcake (Junk food!) or that Jordan concussed in the car after a busy morning and proceeded to take a 2 hour nap (Late bedtime!). But I grin when he tells me with such pride that he made roast potatoes for the twins and they polished off one (Jordan) and three (Evan) potatoes each and that Muffin took a long nap on our bed.

And when I see how happy (but tired) he is and how the children are chirpy and in high spirits, I am thankful. It is not because they have been fed, bathed and had their teeth brushed. But because all I want, when I am not around is to know that they aren't missing me and are having a ball of a time. Never mind the small things (That is my somewhat unsuccessful mantra about parenting). It is something that I really need to learn and Packrat is a master of. I think he has a much less stressful time parenting because he just rides the crests of their moods and doesn't try to fight it. Me, I am constantly in the the 'children must not get away with doing something wrong/disrespectful/defiant and we need to get things done' mode. But that is why I am constantly stressed and Packrat isn't.

So I am thankful. Not only for him being able to both metaphorically and literally scoop up all three children but because he reminds me, not just by words but by his actions that parenting doesn't always need to be stressful.

And when I ask the more verbal of the kids what they did with Papa, in the terse-to-the-point way that 3 1/2 year olds speak, I am told by one, 'We did silly things.' and 'We had fun' by the other.

That just about sums it up.

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  1. Oh wow, our men need a huge dose of ego-stroking like you just did.. :D

    These gestures will propel them into even greater heights in their fatherhood endeavors.. >_-

    Keep it up! (both of you). ;-)