Then I sat down and thumbed through a catalog and noticed the title of a book: The Mother's Mite, Why Even Our Smallest Efforts Matter. Just that simple phrase really broke through to me. The tough thing about this parenting business is that most of the time, the results of what we do are not measurable - at least not in the short term. Who knows, we may not really see the fruits of our labors until way down the road or maybe not even until we get to the other side. I have read, researched, and read some more, taken classes, turned my kitchen upside down, and altered the foundation of holidays all for the well being of my family - namely my little Preston and his invisible metal disorder. But the kids still fight, there is still tension amidst the blended-family setting, bad grades still come home, think-times at school still happen and principal phone calls are still made. Is anything changing? Is anything sinking in?
I know I've said this many a post, but this is the choice I have to make today. Raising kids is a messy, scary, horribly imperfect business. But I can look back in 20 years and know I did all that I could and that I gave him all of the love I could muster, or I could look back over my life and wish that I had just chosen to be happy in that moment. When my kids do something naughty, it's not the end of the world it's an opportunity. And it is possible to parent with empathy, encouragement and consequences without anger and condescension. Everyday I have the opportunity to create good, even when there is nowhere to pull it from. I've got what it takes. I just have to remind myself of that. Often. Even when they make me want to jump off a cliff.
And in the end despite it all, I love them all to bits and remind myself that it IS worth it.