I was thinking about being President. No, no, no- not as in “Hello, Madame President Lynley”, but as in relation to crushed goldfish and melted crayons in the deepest recesses of our mini-van: Parenting.
Being a parent is kind of like running for President.
First off- there’s no other job like it. It’s a position you aspire to and hold in deepest respect. I dreamed of being a parent ever since I remember, just like LBJ dreamed of being President since the First grade. It sounds wonderful and for the most part, looks like everyone doing it is getting along fine.
Now before you’re a president or a parent, you know just exactly what to do. You know what’s best for the country and why under the current administration, it’s all going to Hell. Yes, there’ll be some hiccups along the way, a few tight spots, but you’ve carefully watched others parenting and have come to figure out what they’ve done wrong and how you will do things much differently.
You make promises. You intend to keep those promises, but little do you know that promises are hard to keep when you don’t really understand the job at hand. And it’s a job you can’t truly know about until you are in the thick of it. But promises are made nonetheless and hope is talked about and we have visions of great success.
Congratulations. You were elected! You are now a parent. Lots of fanfare and slapping on the back. And it really is beautiful and wonderful and life drips with sweetness that only a newborn can provide, or a swearin-in. But as time goes on, the honeymoon comes to end and the “job” part of the job begins to grind. It’s hard. There’s a lot riding on my shoulders. And, and, and: This is NOT what the movies make it out to be. Dam the movies!
Decisions. You’ve got to make decisions! Suddenly, life isn’t so clear anymore. There’s more guesswork than you ever thought. Every situation is different and though one move might have worked for one event, its not gonna work for the other. Egypt is not the same as Iraq. Addy is very different from Kaite.
And you lose your temper- a lot. You have to get after people- make them do their job. Why can’t they just do their jobs on their own?! Where’s my manual? I need some directions here! But everybody tells me something different…… I feel so guilty loosing my temper.
And who’s on your side anyways? People turn on you- suddenly you’re the “worst mom in the world”. Your poll numbers are down. You’ve lost the confidence of the people. They don’t like you taking away their allowance. They definitely don’t like you telling them what to do. We can eat candy all day! I hate practicing the piano! Long-live unemployment benefits!!
So why would anyone want to be President anyways?
Well…. I’m not the best parent to be asking, but I have 4 children and in between the hard, there’s a lot of good. A good you can’t get with any other experience. And its in the simplest of moments that your heart soars and refuels you to keep up the good march. Moments that cannot be captured on TV or in a book. No one can tell you about these moments. They come and go like fireflies in the dusk. Blessed am I when I remember to catch those moments.
As President of the United States, you are a super parent to the world. As parent to your child, you are the world. And that is very special. Let us all remember.