18 October 2011

Did Someone Hit the Repeat Button?

Life is an adventure. As a single, LDS woman raising a now 11 year old girl, some days are better than others. I joke that many days are like the movie, "Ground Hog's Day", where the hero of the film finds himself in a bit of a time warp, forced the live the same day over and over again (Ground Hog's Day, to be exact). In the movie, this character knows what's going to happen because, well...he's already lived it an infinite number of times. Some days, he is just desperate/apathetic/hopeless to move on to the next day which will never come. On other days, he does his all to make the best of specific circumstances. He tries to help out those in need and set right little wrongs along the way.

Ever experience De'ja vu?
Parenthood is just like Ground Hog's Day (the movie, not the national holiday). Moms (and dads) wake up every morning to assorted children. How they came into our homes does not matter. Adopted kids, foster children, birth children, nieces or nephews...they are our lives. And when they caw (or cry or jump) in the morning, we are suddenly at their beck and call.

I sat down recently to assess our little family dynamic with my niece- whom I call my daughter. Truthfully, we've been in a precarious state of late. She's sorting out the type of things pre-teens often do; kicking up a little bit of attitude and rebellion in the process. On the other hand, she's doing SO much better at school. We've gone from failing to A's & B's. Overall, I'd call our situation a "mixed bag".

But when people ask me, "How are things going?" I nod and smile and say, "Kind of like Ground Hog's Day." Then explain: Each day is new, and with it brings new homework and new micro-challenges, clean clothes and different menu options. But essentially, we just repeat the same days over and over again, until we learn whatever lesson God has planned for us, and then we move on to the next.

With enough nurturing on our part, LOADS of patience, and many hours spent on knees praying, we make it past that singular, repeating day. And our children are grown, entities unto themselves. We will then be parents of adult children (freaked out yet?).

I don't know what I'll do when that day gets here for me. Let me be clear: I relish, love, memorize each moment, every day and keep a mental scrap book of the ephemeral snuggles, giggles and high-fives. But until that day, I'll be parenting in Rinse & Repeat mode. I will continue to make little (and maybe big) changes & advances daily, but I do so with a life-time commitment to stick to it and do my very best. I'm pretty sure we'll survive the process no less for the wear, and perhaps just a bit wiser than we began. :)