1. An amateur sport. The moment you think you’ve turned pro, the rules change.
2. To experience little daily deaths. This grief process is one of letting go of expectations, “supposed tos,” assumptions of how kids and family life should be.
3. A bliss and a blister. It’s the greatest source of suffering. It’s also the greatest wellspring of joy. (So you can tell, I don’t buy the one-sided view that “parenting is such a bliss” idea, although I can appreciate some parents do truly feel this way!)
4. The intersection between the sacred and the secular. It’s a virtuous circle that constantly reminds you of the giddy reality of daily living, that some semblance of soulfulness is required.
5. Improvisation (originates from the Latin ‘improvisus’, meaning ‘not seen ahead of time’). Life is one big improvisation anyway, a 2 left-footed dance between plans rendered useless and surprises that behold gifts waiting to be opened.
6. A fermentation process of maturity. Not because we become wiser teachers to our children, but because we are hit with the stark realisation that we are called to become better students. Daily.
7. A mirroring of the gift of paradox that permeates through life. The parenting paradox is this: we aim create a strong emotional attachment with our kids, so that one day, they wouldn’t need us.
YOUR TURN: PARENTING IS…?