Raising Kids is Like Launching a Space Shuttle
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The midnight sky suddenly lit up like a fire ball; white, billowy smoke was exploding from the horizon and the ocean waves appeared to sparkle like fairy dust. I stared up at the sky as the Space Shuttle Discovery launched into space, the sky so clear that we could actually see the two rocket boosters separate from the rocket and descend toward the sea. I was totally in awe…others were fast asleep in their beds.
Asleep? Uninterested? Inconvenienced? No way! Like me, many of us go through life excited about little things like a bird’s nest, puddles and indulging in chocolate, knowing that the miraculous events such as a space shuttle launch happen less often. Others become so bored and blasé, they say, “Oh, I’ve already seen one,” “Been there, done that,” and are therefore no longer interested in watching another shuttle light up the sky by night, sail into the clouds by day nor experience the delayed rattle and shaking of the earth about a minute or so after the bird takes flight.
Sad, really. These folks are letting life pass them by, sucked into the drudge of autopilot and missing the opportunities to celebrate, be joyful or fulfilled by the daily miracles called their children.
Many parents I have seen in my office fall into a state of autopilot, seeing parenting as another obligation rather than an inspiration. They are so overwhelmed and burdened, that they find themselves angry, inconvenienced and frustrated with their kids more than they revel in the little things…like runny noses wiped on shirt sleeves, a 10-second non-speaking part in the school play, a handful of weeds thrust at them with pride. Or, how about the teens who are ‘in love’ and get their hearts broken, grow out of their athletic supporter, or beat up their younger siblings but fiercely defend them when others try to bully.
The Space Shuttle launch had three days of delays, bad weather and malfunctions. Folks at NASA waiting for launch probably felt aggravation, frustration and inconvenience. However, they continued to express a great deal of determination, pride and awe of the magnificence of their creation. Then they literally cheered as Discovery headed upwards.
Like the Space Shuttle, your kids will have malfunctions, delays and stormy days. However, they will also become ready to blast off from the launch pad and follow their own course. I encourage any of you feeling on autopilot to downshift into manual drive. From there you will still become aggravated, frustrated and inconvenienced at times. And yet downshifting will help you slow down enough to really notice and enjoy the multitude of facets during prelaunch…
Knowing that the clock is ticking and the countdown has already begun.
Remember: Kids are gifts…Enjoy their Presence!
Enjoy your kids!