Opinion: Phase 1 parenting success
Commentary by Danielle Wilson
It occurred to me that Doo and I are in the midst of a monumental year of parenting. Our youngest turned 13 in the Spring, leaving us with only teenagers as roommates. Then the twins celebrated their 16th birthdays yesterday, after having recently obtained driving permits (and driven me to hourly Hail Marys). And barring incarceration, we’ll be dumping our oldest curbside at his yet unnamed IU dormitory in just six short weeks. Go us!
Not surprisingly, I’m frequently asked, “How do you feel about (insert milestone)?” The answer is always a resounding, “Fan-effing-tastic!” I’m not kidding. True, when I reflect on my role as a mother in the context of preparing my precious little angels to go out into the world as responsible, kind, civic-orientated adults, I’m almost always second-guessing myself. Do they really understand the importance of recycling? Should I have listened more to their problems and fixed less? Why does the Chore Chart never seem to work?
But when I stand back and look at the young men and women they’re becoming, I can easily give myself and Doo pats on the back. First, they all survived. That may not sound like a big deal, but back in 2004, when I had three in diapers and a fourth who liked to take his pants off at the public library while screaming, “Mommy, wipe my bottom,” my mantra was simply “Keep them alive until dinner.” Second, all are on track to eventually find jobs and move out. I’m 95 percent confident that none of my children will end up as basement-dwelling moochers in their 30s (again, barring unforeseen incarceration).
So congratulations to Doo and me. First phase of parenting almost complete!