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©November 2000

Carol Jane Remsburg




The Whole Truth About Parenting




Parents will spout about the discovery of true love, adoration, and the finding of self.  What they don't tell you about is the aggravation, the despair, and the flashes of pure hate that accompany parenting.  Both are sides of the same coin.  Oftentimes we don't like what we see in the mirror of which resides much of ourselves.


There is an old saying that is quite true.  What we love we can hate in equal measure.  Raising our offspring can be more trial than pleasure.  In them, those most like us, we see everything about us that we loathe and wish to change.  Moreover, we are likely to miss entirely the best parts of them and ourselves.


I have one child, and one child only.  In many ways, she could be my clone in personality.  In physical appearance, there are disparities, but not much.  She's gorgeous and I wasn't.  The positives were somehow magnified.  Still, this kid struggles against everyone and everything.  Breathing is a trial and all of life is a major catastrophe.  Oh, how I well I remember it.


Growing up is an evil we endure.  We trust little of our senses and of ourselves less.  We believe that someone, somewhere, hopefully our parents, will make this madness end.  We also trust that life is innately good.


Those hideous tantrums that we throw must be met with some stalwart albeit loving reaction.  On the flip side of the parent, it isn't all "Walden's Pond."  No, it isn't. 


From the most miniscule of tirades, over a small plastic piece of a toy found missing or the next clothing fad of a ten year-old, minutes pass.  Years slip by. 


From the feeding, burping, diapering, and bathing of a newborn, a new soul has arrived in this world.  We can only hope and expect some of the wonders that we've hoped for.  If we challenge them, urge them, and coax them onward, then we are lucky.  All too often we end up fighting ageless arguments. By simply providing sustenance and love we find that they are quick to shun it and us giving little care over.  They know all; but we know better.


The years do pass.  They grow from a weak stem to a sturdy sprout while still relying upon their grounding ribbon of strength that we, their parents, provide.  They grow nearly blind to the fact.


Whoever said that 'growing up is hard to do' made a total understatement. 


The only decent part of it is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Later we will meet and greet our children with a sense of wonder in their accomplishment of achieving adulthood.  For me, mine's still ten.  This won't even begin to happen for decades to come if she has her way.


My way is to see her prepared and ready—like for next year.  Oh the wonder, more the wonder of the tears.  Remember parents; we're in this together!


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