Saturday, May 8, 2010

And I thank you, I'll always thank you

So, it's that time of year again. For some reason it took a card company to come up with this holiday... Does someone know if that's even true? Anyway, I have been thinking about parenting a lot for the last 3-1/2 years. No coincidence that Rylie is going to be four in October. I have been meaning to ramble on about this for a while, but I feel especially motivated today :)

Here's the scoop. Pretty much all of us are blessed with two parents. Of course, that's not always the case, but I was a lucky kid. Parents are under an ENORMOUS amount of pressure. This is just a fact. You probably appreciate your parents, and perhaps you even think you appreciate your parents enough. If you're in the latter group, I would guess that you don't have kids of your own. You will never realize how much your parents actually did FOR YOU until you become a parent. Seriously, raising kids is absolute madness! There is constant work to do. If you're sitting still, you're getting behind on cleaning up after your kids, reading to them, packing lunches, changing diapers, applying boo boo bags, etc.

Did I mention packing lunches? My mom was one of those that packed lunches until I was done with high school. I don't know why she did it, exactly. We will do it to save a few bucks, and at least try to get our kids to eat healthy. But I digress... So, my mom seriously packed lunches for me for like 15 years. Think about that! This is a chore Shannon and I already despise, and we've been doing it for 8 months.

Figure something like 36 weeks per school year. Sometimes I had food provided by sports, bought lunch once/week or something I think. A conservative estimate of 36 weeks X 4 days/week = 144 lunches per year. Over 15 years, that's 2,160 lunches. Figure something like 12 minutes per lunch packing, and you're at 360 HOURS of lunch packing. So that is 15 days of life allocated just for lunch packing. Think about driving to/from school, doing laundry, etc., ... and you get the idea. Not even to mention the financial stress...

I feel very fortunate to have been raised by two very involved parents. I've always been a momma's boy (shocking, right?). My mom taught me how to cook. Enough said. But of course there is more. She taught me how to eat! ;) She taught me about getting down to business, speaking your mind, and going for your dreams. My dad taught me about hard work and committing to get things done. He taught me about how much cursing at things helps along the process of construction. He taught me about getting dirty and appreciating the outdoors. If you know me, you know about my environmental interest. You can blame my dad.

Over the course of my life, my parents have contributed enormously to making me what I am today. I consider myself relatively successful at this point, and I would never have had the drive or opportunity to get it done without my parents. When I committed to baseball, my parents would drive me to and from Phoenix all winter to play winter ball. They sacrificed work time to make it to almost all of my high school baseball games. Thinking about this now makes me reconsider my career path. Everything changes when you have kids. Although I've only been a dad for a few years, the sacrifice is worth it for the moments of laughter, love, and hugs.

A final thank you for the parents (sorry, not just the moms) out there--especially my mom and dad, and my wife. I know I don't say it enough, but I thank you more than you know. Mom and Dad, you have made me who I am today. So, you'll have to say both "sorry" and "you're welcome" to Shannon when you get the chance! :D

Happy mom's day, everyone!

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