Sometimes, you have to remind yourself that you are only human.
Sometimes, our babies cry most of the night. We nurse them, we rock them and walk them and, still, they cry. And then, finally, they sleep.
Sometimes, our partners are lazy and oblivious. They eat or drink too much. They don’t help take care of their own children, they don’t notice the dirty dishes in the sink or the piles of dirty laundry in the closet. And then, when we are in the parking lot with our keys locked in the car, they come.
Sometimes, our jobs are hard and thankless. We work long hours and pour our soul into our presentations, generate bucketloads of good product, provide services without complaint. We’re tired and disillusioned with all of these trappings. And then, someone notices our effort. A student, a customer, a colleague demonstrates gratitude or recognition.
Sometimes, our child’s teacher calls to tell us our child is disruptive in class or is too bossy or too quiet. We jump on the parent wheel and start spinning – what can we do differently? How can we motivate the child to do better? What if it is one of any number of learning disabilities? We immediately assume blame and feel shame over our parenting skills. And then, at teacher conferences, the teacher advises they have made changes in the classroom and praises the child for adjusting so well.
Sometimes, our teenagers are like the spawn of the devil. They yell, they pout, they are sullen. They hate you, they need you, they love you, you’re stupid, you’re dead to them. And then, they wake up one day and are parents too. They grow and understand and realize the lessons you tried to instill.
Sometimes, we age and we retire. We have time to think and see and do. The understanding pours over you like glaze on a donut, sweet and smooth but sticky. We wish we had all of this time and understanding back in the day, when we needed it most. We wish we could tell our friends, our children, our grandchildren all that we’ve learned – to save them from going through the same gamut of pain, shame, difficulty and frustration. And then, we see that the understanding is our own. It doesn’t have the same meaning to anyone else. It is the human experience and each of us lives it in our own time and place.