Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A New Day

Being a parent is hard.  I'm not going to mince words.  I have a teenager and a 10 year old and being a parent has been a constant challenge.  I love my children.  I love them more than I ever thought possible.  But parenting is like walking a maze surrounded by lava.  Any minute now I expect to make a wrong step and suddenly my child is the next Hannibal Lecter. Or worse, I look up and realize I've hit a dead end and my child missed an opportunity because I failed to help them.  

Do I make them do it because it's good for them or do I leave them alone and let them make their own decisions because that's good for them as well?  Is this annoying habit that makes me want to pull out my hair a phase or is this something I'm going to have to deal with at Thanksgiving dinner for the rest of my life?  It's a struggle.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that I'm still not perfect.  So on a regular basis I'm left doubting myself as well.  Is this really a big deal or am I projecting my own insecurities on my child and overreacting thus continuing the cycle of whatever it is that makes me feel insecure?  Good times.

Because parenting is hard, we have good days and bad days. But one of the things I've learned is not to let the bad days carry over.  If my son has stayed up late because he forgot to study for a test until the last minute and had to endure hours of lectures about video games and grades, I have a routine I do the next morning.

I gently wake him up early so there is no rush to get ready and I tell him "Today is a new day."

It's a reminder that despite how bad things have gotten, despite how tired or full of despair you might have felt, today is a new day.  It's new and you have a chance to turn this day into something different.  You have a chance to make this day better.  You have an opportunity to change.

Of course I'm speaking to myself as much as I am my kids when I say it.  Today I have a chance to start being healthier.  I have a chance to make better decisions.  I have the opportunity to chase that dream a little further.  Sure I may have messed things up a little yesterday.  Or maybe I was lazy the week before, but today is a new day.  Today I get to start over.

So, today is a new day and I'm going to be writing more.  I've actually already started this process, but this is the first post I've published.  I have no doubt that eventually I'll take a break again and disappear for a month or year at a time.  But that's ok because today is a new day and so is tomorrow.