What’s your parenting metaphor?
We recently took our kids to an amusement park, where there are rides all geared to the under-10 crowd. It’s a family tradition we’ve loved since our daughter was tiny. It’s fun going every year and seeing how many of the “big” rides the kids can ride on thanks to their many growth spurts.
This year, for the first time ever, the kids were able to ride the bumper cars. It was just after that ride that it (pardon the pun) hit me that my parenting metaphor is the bumper car.
I rode in a car with my daughter, loving the straightaways, and the joy on her face as she steered the bumper car and pressed on the pedal. Then, suddenly, BANG. Sideswiped. Off we went again, spinning and turning and SMACK. Rear-ended.
We looked over at my husband and son riding in another car and I saw their expressions — laughter, joy, shock, concern, more joy. It was exhilarating, really.
Parenting is much like bumper cars, isn’t it?
We’ll be sailing along smoothly then suddenly – BANG – a change in routine sets the kids off. Or – CRASH – an illness sideswipes us. Or – KABOOM – some other growing pain hits and we’re down for the count. We’ll enjoy a smooth stretch then suddenly – BOOM – life shakes us up a little. Then off we go again.
My parenting metaphor is most definitely bumper cars.
You enjoy every moment, even while you’re being knocked around a bit, and I hope that at the end, you look back and laugh at how fun it’s all been.
It’s so amazing that each stage of this parenting gig is so different from the last. I would never want to go back — no matter how hard the hits, or how short the smooth straightaways are, I love this ride the most. The bumps, the hits, the laughter, the adventure… it thrills me.
Do you have a parenting metaphor, too?
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