Cheryl and I have these friends. They teach physics and engineering, respectively, at a local university. They are married and in their 40s, much like us … except for one small detail: our kids are in college, and their kids are in preschool.
Our friends are wise and loving parents … the kind of people who should be on the cover of Parenting Magazine every single month. They are also, understandably, a little bit tired.
Cheryl and I will sometimes talk about how we decided to have children “early.” It happened way back in the 1990s, and we really hadn’t offered up many prayers or sought much advice. We just went to the movies one night and had this conversation:
MIKE: Hey, would you like to start trying for a baby?
Wait a minute … let me rephrase that.
CHERYL (with excitement pulsing from every fiber of her being): Sure!!!!!!!
And so we began trying, in our barely-mid-20s, and the next thing you know … there was Kate. And a couple of years later, we tried some more … and there was Cal.
And Cheryl and I had this boundless energy to wake-up in the middle of the night and to battle illnesses and to play a dozen games of WIFFLE® ball in a single day. But, safe to say, we lacked some wisdom along the way.
And so we glance over at our friends and think … we wish we’d been more patient as parents. More kind. More laid back. Just like you.
And our friends look back at us—smiling their tired smiles—and wish that they had a little bit of that juice we all had 20 years ago.
|Cheryl and Kate|