Parenting and What No One Ever Tells You

Parenting and What No One Ever Tells You, Liturgy of Life, Sacramentally Cultivating a Household

 

I recently became an aunt again and have fallen in love with my new little niece.

 

Looking at her got me thinking back a few years to when our daughter was born, remembering the bewilderment of trying to find a rhythm with this brand new tiny person whose personality seems to change daily, while everyone around offers some piece of new and conflicting advice.

 

Some of the lines we heard over and over,

“They grow up so fast.”

“Just you wait till she gets older.”

“Well you are going to be dealing with that for the next 18 years.”

 

But tonight as I tuck her in I am thinking about all of the things that no one ever told me, that I suppose even if they had I wouldn’t have understood.

 

That grief is as much a part of love as joy and that growing up is its own sort of death.

 

.    .    .

 

No one ever tells you that .  .  .  watching your child’s first step you will cry with celebration mixed with mourning as she moves that much faster now on her wobbly legs towards the person she is becoming and ceases to be the baby that she once was. 

 

No one ever tells you that .  .  .  a knot will seize up in your guts as you watch her innocence and eagerness to know the world corrupted by the pain and violence she finds there.

 

No one ever tells you that .  .  .  watching her grow up will drive you to work longer and think harder (with far less sleep) than you ever even imagined you were capable of.

 

No one ever tells you that .  .  .   the confidence she has in you will leave you inspired and humbled knowing that you can’t help but let her down though you wouldn’t stop short of giving her your very life if she needed you to.

 

No one ever tells you that .  .  .  you will be terrified holding her in your arms desiring more than anything  to protect her and yet knowing that you are weak and your protection is minuscule against the strength of the world around you.

 

No one ever tells you about the power of a child in your life, that with her everything changes.  And that when you tuck her into bed at night you will encounter the Holy, you will see that Love is a Person and  in her you will be drawn to Him. And that is how it should be, grief and joy and tears and all.

 

 

 

4 Comments

  • Kay Reply

    So very true!

    • egjarrett Reply

      Thanks Kay. I know it is so exciting to watch kids grow up to be little people of their own, but it is so hard too. I have never before wanted so badly for the world to be a better place than I have as I’ve watched my daughter living in it.

  • meg Reply

    I found your blog through my friend shannon {we, the great parade}.. love this post! everything about this…

    • egjarrett Reply

      Hey Meg, thanks for the encouragement. I just checked out your site, great pictures and I’m going to copy your rainbow pancakes sometime soon. I usually have a hard time being concise, but somehow these thoughts came together in a way that I hope others can connect with. Being a parent brings with it so much I didn’t expect. I knew I would love my kid, I didn’t realize how much she would change the way I saw the world, or even more than that, how much I would want to change the world so it would be a better place for her to live in.

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