We were flying home a few days ago when I was watching the world play out below as though it were a Monopoly game. It was mesmerizing to watch the comings and goings of cars on a patchwork quilt of earth while hearing only the humming of the engines keeping us off that same ground.
While watching, I began to wonder various things. Who lives in that house? Why are so many people parked in front of that building? What game is going on on that athletic field? And why on earth is traffic so backed up when there is nothing at all causing the congestion.
From my point of view, the world was peaceful and beautifully orchestrated. Everything was orderly.
The individuals in the cars on that highway that was backed up would most definitely tell a different story, I’m sure.
This point of view helped me to have a little bit of perspective when it comes to parenting.
As much as I love the well-meaning older women and men who instruct me to ‘enjoy every minute’ with my children, sometimes I just want to say, “I love my kids like crazy and I wouldn’t trade a minute with them. But do you not remember how it is having kids? How exhausting it can be? The fits, the screaming tantrums, the bodily functions you’re responsible for cleaning up? Am I really supposed to enjoy those particular minutes? Because if I am, I am completely failing as a mother.“
But this birds-eye view of the world really helped me clear a few things up. These well-meaning individuals, who are mostly parents of adult children now, see the big picture.
They see that “horrible traffic” is only a quarter-mile long. You’ll be out of it before you know it.
They see the beautifully orchestrated pace of life below because they have lived it.
They have overcome the moments of frustration to see the reward on the other side.
They understand that potty training doesn’t last 2o years and nor does the never-ending fit your toddler is currently throwing.
Having this perspective is vital to us as we are “in the trenches” of raising young children. We need to have these loving, grandmotherly people in our life telling us that it really will all be okay. Having this wisdom in our lives can act as a road map to our emotions when it feels like we’re blindly driving through the twists-and-turns that embody parenting.
And we need to have the perspective to enjoy every minute (even if we don’t really enjoy every minute)…because those minutes are fleeting. Before we know it, we’ll be begging to have them back!