The Hard Part of Parenting
I didn't realize how hard parenting could be. So many times it's the hard part that teaches the greatest lesson. Or at least that is what I choose to believe or I am not sure I will make it out alive....
Let me tell you about the greatest thing my daddy ever did for me. It's pretty remarkable. How hard I know it was for him. Now, and even then, I feel guilty about it. That I even put him in the position to have to make that choice. Because I knew him so well, I knew how hard it was for him to do.
Often times people measure love by what someone does for you. I have said too about how my daddy never missed a game. Never missed a pickup. Never missed a weekend. (My parents are divorced) He never missed anything really. Daddy took us on trips. To Tennessee football games numerous times. To basketball games. We went to amusement parks and movies. He bought me my first car. He paid for school trips. He paid for my first pair of Jordan's and took me to Abercrombie & Fitch for the first time. (Bet he regretted that later!! Remember when it was in Bellevue Mall? And it was really good clothing???!!! Sorry got off track!)
But that isn't at all why I am most grateful. Very grateful. No, the best thing my daddy did for me was make me get a job and pay for my responsibilities. I know what you are thinking! (Especially you young people!!) You are crazy!! But I am serious.
My first year of college I was like a small animal who had been let out of its cage! I was all about having fun!!! I wanted to still live away from home but wasn't planning on going back to school that semester so my daddy said "Get a job or move home." I continued on with my "good time" attitude without a care in the world!! This went on for a few weeks, so the next time I came in he did it!!!!! He handed me that little book. You know the one that use to come with a car payment?? I had pushed him and made him show his hand. Problem was, he wasn't bluffing this time!
That very next week I had found a job. Not a career or anything, but a decent job that paid my bills. I was working my butt off at a local tanning salon 40 hours a week. When I would get my paycheck it was so rewarding! All of a sudden that money was so much more valuable than before!! Too, I had to learn that AFTER I HAD PAID MY BILLS only then could I do what I wanted. It was a whole new ball game!
Now, obviously both my parents had already instilled in me work ethic and showed me, by example, to take a certain responsibility when it comes to what is expected of me. This had just taken it to the next level. The grown adult level is what I like to call it!! And, let me tell you, I didn't like it!! (Still not real crazy about it sometimes!)
After about a year, I had enough!! It was decision-making time when it came to my future. I enrolled back into school and finished. I also paid off my car! We still have it and Matthew drives it to work! Let me tell you, the feeling of pride when I paid it off was indescribable. Just a certain amount of joy in it really.
As I stated before, I hate I made him have to make that decision. I know it was hard, or at least now I do. To watch your child struggle. It is a parent's instinct to swoop in and save them. To see them struggle hurts. You want to help them. To make them happy. No, my parents weren't perfect. (Sorry mama!) But they taught us and gave us some of life's most important lessons and makes me the parent I am today. Which I suppose again leads me to some of my favorite quotes and sayings when it comes to parenting:
If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.--Abigail Van Buren
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.--W. Hodding Carter
Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking.--J.C. Watts
When you know better, you do better.--Maya Angelou