Monday, January 10, 2011

Enough

Insatiable is the elevated term my wife and I use to describe our daughters. By this we mean, nothing is ever good enough for them. They always want a little more cereal in the bowl and a little more milk on top; another dip in the candy jar; more time with mom and one more twirl from dad; carried her, transported there; and they still beg our company in the bathroom to wipe their butts. Fortunately, we buy toilet paper in bulk.

Parenting is endless, exhausting, and proportionally thankless.

Three days ago a woman in her fifties admitted that becoming a grand-parent only surfaces the next challenging phase of parenting. How much advice and intervention to provide their children as they learn to rear their own is tenuous territory. Excess and neglect have narrow margins.

So if I'm weary now, I have a long way to go.

Along the way, there are certain payoffs. Parenting has strengthened my alliance with my wife. We are in this battle together. Sometimes it feels like us against them. Sometimes it feels like they are winning. Some day they will get married and move away, and we'll just have one another.

Moreover, I enjoy my daughters' sparks of creativity, signs of maturity, and observing their concept of God grow. We are doing this in unison. For every time I lament their lack of thanks and confess my tried patience, I recall my Father in heaven, who has played audience to enough tantrums to fill an ocean. We all need a time out.

When I consider God as Father, I resolve to outlast my insatiable children. Perhaps one day they'll thank me for it.

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