Not the hokey pokey. Relationships. That’s what life is all about. Not work or money. Not success or fame. We may spend lots of time trying to chase those things because they seem like they’re what it’s all about. But when it comes down to it, it’s about relationships. It applies in parenting too. It’s also very easy to forget in parenting. We’re so busy with the daily details of getting kids to school, to practice, to bed, feeding them, etc. etc. etc., that we can forget that it’s not about all the things we do for them. It’s about having a relationship with them. That’s what we must pursue with everything in our being. Why? Because sometimes relationships are hard. Now it’s hard to see this when you’re looking at your sweet little cooing baby. But wait until they hit eleven or twelve and suddenly get an attitude. They talk back; they fight you on everything. It feels like they are the enemy. This is when it gets tough. But this is when we have to remember that that’s what parenting is about. About loving our kid unconditionally and pursuing that relationship with the child even when said child is being more difficult to get along with than we could ever fathom. About not giving up when we don’t know how to reach them. About forgiving them and forgiving ourselves when we fail every single day. About choosing to take an interest in something we don’t give a hoot about simply because they do. About listening to them when they are ready to talk and not demanding they talk to us on *our* time table. About being there for them even when it’s inconvenient for us. About loving that kid when he’s at his most unlovable.
It’s hard. So hard. Harder than I ever dreamed at times. But that’s what relationships are about. No one ever said parenting was easy. No one ever said life was easy. Nothing great ever is.