PARENTING is small things done over and over and over again. Done until we don’t think we can do them anymore.
It’s routine. It’s repetitive. It’s constant.
It’s bigger than I thought. It’s smaller than I thought.
It’s everyday tasks.
The baths, the meals, the Band-Aids for invisible boo-boos.
It’s kissing a knee that needs kissing. It’s holding a child who needs holding.
It’s understanding our own parents better than we did before.
It’s good intentions. And good intentions that we don’t always keep.
It’s replacing the batteries and refilling the prescriptions.
It’s the appointments. It’s the forms. It’s the laundry.
SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY.
It’s noses that don’t stop running all winter. It’s running out in the cold to get more tissues.
It’s bedtime stories when you’re too tired.
It’s hurt feelings and confusion. It’s second guessing ourselves.
It’s school pickup lines and parent teacher conferences. It might be IEPs and therapies and specialists, too. Not all loads are equal.
It’s finding LEGOs in weird places.
It’s googling weird rashes.
It’s a lap that’s full. It’s arms that are full. It’s a mind that’s full to the point of exploding, sometimes.
It’s the teaching. Of letters and numbers and potty training. But also of manners and traditions and character.
It’s holding space for quiet and for noise.
A LOT of noise.
It’s yogurt. It’s dirt. It’s a lot of messes. Always, messes.
It’s waiting for the on-call doctor to call back when it’s late and the fever won’t break.
It’s clothes that won’t fit for long and grocery bills that are too high.
Sometimes it’s pride. Sometimes it’s embarrassment. Always, it’s love.
Parenting is the small things, done over and over and over.
In the repetition of these small things done over and over and over, our kids find the big things they need.
They learn what love looks like in this repetition.
And so do we.