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Parenting is Not for Wimps

Have you seen the You Tube video of the brand new, “Verruckt” water slide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City?

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Hailed as the “world’s tallest water slide,” it literally means “insane” in German and it’s taller than Niagara Falls. Anyone brave enough to attempt it will fall practically straight down at 65 miles an hour.

And that’s pretty much how I feel about parenting.

They said it would be the most rewarding and thankless job, all at the same time. They said it would be the time of my life, but incredibly difficult. They were right.  However, “they” did not tell me I would routinely feel like I’m dropping off a cliff at 65 mph. No bueno for a girl known to get motion sickness sitting in a parked car on a windy day.

In the constant state of vertigo that is parenting, I am in full-on spin these days. This week, for example, I spent Monday and Tuesday in the spin cycle freaking out over various kid issues, ranging from unhppiness (depression, maybe? A phase? Hormones? When should I be worried?) to bad grades (panic: are we even gonna pass this grade?) on Monday and Tuesday, to everyone is happy and all is right with the world by Wednesday night. So what happened between Tuesday and Wednesday? I don’t know. I really can’t put my finger on it, but by Wednesday evening there was just a lightness in the air. For one, the grade situation, which I monitor closely, and with which we have enlisted the help of an uber-educated tutor, wasn’t as dire as it appeared to be when I received a string of bad grade e-mail notifications in my in-box at 4 p.m. on Monday. Nothing like seeing, “student has received a grade below” in the subject line. Seven times. In one day.

I can’t keep my bearings on life because everything changes so drastically from day to day.

This is parenting, I’ve learned. And parenting is not for wimps.

I can’t figure that Schlitterbahn ride out. I don’t know much about physics, but I do know gravity is key here. But, the drop is soooo steep, it looks to me like you’d bump on and off the slide as you go, eventually skidding right off the side.

This week I bumped on and off this crazy parenting ride a few times. Somehow I managed to cling for dear life and maintain enough traction to stay on course.


Today, it’s smooth sailing. Tomorrow, I might be flailing off the side.

You just never know.

Luckily, I’m kind of a thrill-seeker and I love a good roller coaster, so I’m all in.

But, really, “they” should’ve told me I’d need lots of Dramamine.

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