So I ask..."what IS being a good parent?" Is it running to your kids to their sporting events, buying them whatever their hearts desire, picking up after them, making their life easier/better than ours? Picking them up when they fall, kissing boo-boos, always having neosporin handy? Teaching them to drive responsibly, not to do drugs, to wait to have sex (and how to be safe if they can't)? YES! But that's only the surface. I believe parenting is more about what your children learn from your heart.
Our recent life lessons began Thursday April 25th. We had planned a vacation, aka staying overnight at Splash Lagoon and playing in the tubes. Thursday while at work I broke a tooth during lunch...not fun. Thankfully, I have the worlds best dentist (and staff) and on my way home they called and could see me that evening. As I was rushing back out to my appointment I ran over my dog. Yes, you read that right. My dear beloved Josie! I didn't see her. My heart broke and I was in shock. I couldn't get out of the truck, I was so terrified! My neighbor rushed over and, after a frantic phone call to my hubby (who had just left also), he arrived too. Amazingly, she was alive! She ended up with a black eye (yes they can get black eyes), pulled ligaments, major bruising and lost a section of skin and hair on her back, but she was alive. We did go on our trip. A friend of ours stayed with Josie and took care of her. We had a nice and relaxing time, but there seemed to be a little dark cloud hovering.
So we get back home, take Josie to the vet just to make sure she will be ok, he said she would. Back to work and the freight train. Then here comes another Thursday! Frank had rehearsal, Morgan had to work and Jon had a baseball game. We were getting ready for the band to play a big show on the 4th of July at the drag strip. Jonathan's game got cancelled, due to rain, so we decided to go rent a movie. We went back home and shortly Frank and the bassist (Tod) showed up. I could tell something was wrong and Frank took my hand and told me Jonny's kitten has been hit and killed. I was heartbroken. But, that was nothing compared to the devastation my little boy felt. Penny slept with him every night. He cried so hard that night, as I laid with him in bed saying "I want my cat". His little body convulsing with uncontrollable sobs, I too cried wishing I could take his pain away. We slept together in the living room the next two nights.
And that's when the freight train came to a halt! The next day Jonathan and I spent the whole day together. Just being together. We did some errands, went to the sale, bought some new ducks. The whole family was in a state of mourning. I know, it's just a kitty, but she was more than that. We had saved her from certain death in the barn, nursed her and she quickly became part of our family. I would do anything to bring her back.
We proceeded through the holiday weekend, our hearts pain easing through the love of good friends and family. While we were at the track a youn gal we know dropped her 18 month old in my lap so she could go race. He stayed with me for the next hour and a half. He fell asleep in my arms. As he laid in my arms sleeping I remembered my own children in my arms, safe, comfortable. Toward the end of the day the day after Penny died Jonathan thanked me for laying with him and spending the day with him and told me he loved me. I am now a better parent. Helping your children heal just by loving them is healing to yourself. While I know the freight train will speed up now and then, I will never let it get so fast that I lose sight of what is important again.
Loving your children unconditionally, crying with them, laughing with them, being with them...that is being a good parent.