Being a parent can be challenging on many different levels. For the most part, you’re dealing with a tiny, drunken version of yourself that does stupid shit and has just enough smarts to get into trouble but not enough logic to recognize said trouble to keep from accidentally offing themselves. If you’re lucky, and you put in JUST enough effort, you can potentially guide them to adulthood where they’ll potentially become a productive member of modern society. Yeah, right… I don’t know what my parents actually imagined for me when I was growing up, except to be healthy and happy. I’m not the former (thanks, Type-1 Diabetes) and I’m rarely the latter, despite my best efforts.
Anyway, sometimes it can be easy to forget that as a parent, we’re not alone. Parenting is by far not a new thing and all the issues we deal with are shared by other parents, as well. This reality slapped me in the face on Friday night when my wife and I attempted to visit my son’s school for his class’ Christmas concert. Picture this: dozens and dozens of families, all with several kids and everyone running around, different rooms with different activities and the main “gym” space holding just about enough chairs for one-third of the people in attendance. Throw in a dash of overheating from packing everyone in like sardines and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a PTSD flare-up.
On top of that, is my 3-year boy who neither understands or cares to follow direction and watch his big brother perform instead of trying to tear the school down by its foundation (and he could do it, too!). It made for a rough and chaotic hour and a half for the sake of Nathan singing for about four minutes. He was so happy and proud of his performance and I was a bit surprised at how quiet and well-behaved he was while on stage. Getting both boys back into their boots and heading home was a challenge in and of itself but we made it home relatively unscathed, despite the fact I was emotionally drained and had to crash almost immediately thereafter.
Interestingly enough, I noticed that there were plenty of exasperated parents and noisy, disobedient children. I noticed that all of those families were dealing with the same challenges and problems that i was seeing. Oddly enough, most of them didn’t really seem to give a shit about it all, as much as I did. But it did make me realize that most families deal with children in a public place in ways that I do. Just a little bit of shared chaos… Kids sure as shit make life interesting. ☯️