There are days when parenting seems like not only the hardest job in the world, but one that might just take me down. And unlike that Bon Jovi song, it wonít be in a blaze of glory.
Sometimes my kids win. They get the better of me. And sometimes I amÖ ahem, fortunate enough to have it happen in public. Like last week.
People who are faithful shoppers at Nesters know they always get a little something extra for their dedication, but on Monday after school, if you were lucky, you would have had the thrill of seeing me soaring through the air for what felt like a good 30 seconds óthough physics would suggest thatís impossible.
Imagine a wide receiver in the end zone leaping to catch that perfect pass and sailing over the line at the edge of the field to score a photo-finish touchdown. That was me. I realize I may not have the terminology right, but you get the gist of it.
But instead of the old pigskin, I was gripping a coffee and frozen peas. Instead of sacrificing my worn and beaten body for six points, I simply turned and tripped over MY OWN CHILD. I flew a few feet and then hit the cold, hard pavement. Coffee cup now empty, though still clutched tightly in my fist, I remember looking up and seeing my children standing on either side of me, somewhat puzzled.
Kind people ó bless their hearts ó scurried over to see if I was OK. It wouldnít have been surprising if I hadnít been. It was quite a spectacle.
I was quite fine, though subsequently bruised in an unappetizing zucchini and aubergine colour scheme. Quite fine, aside from the embarrassment that comes from having my kids behaving the way they do. In public. And the fact that I write a parenting column in a newspaper that has my photo on it.
And thatís the kicker, right there.
You see, Iím no more qualified than any other parent to write this column. Yes, Iíve studied different parenting models, read A LOT of books, devoured research by Kim John Payne, Gordon Neufeld, Alfie Kohn, Barbara Coloroso, Shefali Tsabury and others.
I do this because I am full of questions ó not because I have all the answers. Granted, Iíve always been full of questions, which helped when I actively worked as a journalist, and now that Iím a parent first and a writer second, I am compelled to blend these two passions and share.
Sometimes I share what has worked for me. Sometimes I share what Iím going to try out. Never, I hope, should my sharing be perceived as a panacea for all parents.
Iíve been tripped up on this journey of parenthood more times than I can count. But the fact is, I will keep getting back up again (sorry Jon, but Iím going with Chumbawamba on this one). And Iím grateful to all of you who share with me your tales of woe, your hardships and your amazing successes.
Merry Christmas to you all and hereís hoping 2014 is full of a few colourful parenting experiences of your own. Because after all ó they make pretty good stories to share!
Kirsten Andrews offers Simplicity Parenting courses, workshops and private consultations in the Corridor and Lower Mainland. Visit Sea To Sky Simplicity Parenting on Facebook or www.SeaToSkySimplicityParenting.com.