Parenting is tenuous. Every single moment, there are worries. Are the kids okay? Are they healthy? Are they safe? Are they well-rested? Are they fed?
And above that level is the bigger picture. Are they in the right school? Am I parenting them well? Am I doing everything that I need to be doing for them? And for a single parent, there’s always the “big” worry of providing for the kids. Because you can love them and you can kiss their “boo-boos”….but if you can’t keep a roof over their head and food in the fridge, then there’s a lot more stress in this life.
We all know that life is fragile. At least we say that we know that life is fragile. But when you’re texting with a friend and mother of four who has been sick in bed for over two weeks and not able to work or get up and really care for her kids, you know that life is fragile. You can’t imagine how stressful that must be.
And when you’re sitting in a board meeting and talking about cutting your work hours and eventually closing the non-profit that you work for because the state in which you live has not passed a budget and therefore no money is flowing to the non-profit sector, then you know that life is fragile. You realize how much you take for granted that you’re going to go into an office every day and you’re going to have money magically appear in your checking account every two weeks and you tend not to stress about it.
But then one day, you’re really stressed. And you spend the weekend trying not to snap at the boys about every little thing they do because you know it’s just your stress within that makes you so cranky. And you wonder how much to share with your kids and how much you protect them from the fragility and the stresses of the world.
And you try not to worry. You know that you have umpteen degrees behind your name and are capable of doing so much. Yet you mourn the loss of your current job and the way that you have been able to have flexibility with your hours to be there for the kids and help with the parties at school. How life was going smoothly for a moment and now the next bump is hitting you in the journey. You know that you will bounce and come through it, but as the kids yell and scream and cheer and jeer in their football game on the road out front, you still sit inside worried. Worried about the next step. Worried about making it through the valley.
Working hard to be Superman in the dark world of Batman….
Oh to be a kid playing football without a care in the world except to the fairness of the game. But the game of life is not really “fair.” It’s fragile and tenuous. It’s stressful and scary sometimes. Yet we still play and give it our best, knowing that the Lord knows what’s on the other side of this valley.
I sure do wish that I did.