Sometimes the daily grind of raising children becomes wearisome. Most of the time it’s not a problem, but sometimes I just get tired.
How many times can they tell the same story?
How many times can they interrupt a phone call?
How many times can they show me their newest paper-and-string-and-tape creations?
(In case one of my children is reading this some years from now: no, it wasn’t you – it was your brother.)
We all have our weaknesses. In case your weakness is along the lines of “how to motivate yourself to care about everything your child says”, here is how I stay motivated :
Captain Sullenberger has been asked how he was able to make a landing (or would that be “watering”) in such a precarious situation. His answer was something along the lines of
For years I had been making small deposits in the bank of experience. When the time came that I needed to make a large withdrawal, the balance was large enough.
What is my job as a parent? Raising my children, of course. Teaching them now and preparing them for the future.
Hmm…that sounds like a school’s motto.
If I neglect my parenting role now, I am squandering the experience instead of depositing it in the bank. In the future, what if my then-teenage son needs to talk?
If he grew up thinking “dad never listens”, where will he go to be heard?
If he grew up thinking “dad doesn’t want to answer my questions”, whom will he ask when he has an important question?
I’m not saying our kids feel neglected – that’s not why I’m writing this. I just saw that quote from Captain Sullenberger and thought it paralleled parenting rather well. It should be applicable to just about anything, not just piloting.
Oh, and you should listen to “Cat’s in the Cradle” (the real version) a few times a year.
My other question is this: Why wasn’t the emergency landing also a deposit in the bank of experience? How does the experience know whether it is a deposit or withdrawal?
I would liken it more to the stock market. He put enough in so that, when the crash came, he wasn’t wiped out completely.
On second thought, that doesn’t continue well either, because after the crash he had even more experience than before the crash. Maybe we need to avoid the monetary analogies.
You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.