It’s easy to take parenting for granted when you’ve been doing it for awhile. Somehow, the trepidation I felt about parenting when that little head first came out of my wife’s vagina 11 years ago has disappeared, ya know? I’m a dad, most of my friends are now parents, blahblahblah. It’s a skill that becomes rote. Or easy to fake.
Until the fall. My boys are starting 3rd and 6th grades this fall, and they’re going to different schools for the first time. Today, in a rare moment of reflection and understanding, I looked around and realized the effort it truly takes to be a parent to two young men. It is a lot of work! That sounds cliche, certainly, but consider the following task items that are pertinent to this discussion:
- Doctor visits.
- School registrations.
- School uniforms.
- Coordinating carpools – yes, my oldest son is going to a charter school not in my neighborhood. More about that some other time.
- Buying school supplies for each kid. Have you seen a list of required school supplies these days? It’s like you’re trying to open your very own Costco!
- Getting said Costcos to each school on the first day.
- Meeting each teacher to make sure they’re good. I’m the type of parent who always has his finger on the eject button until I know my kids have good teachers. You hear that, my public schools? Don’t fuck with me because I will go private! To their credit, I have not had to push the button ever. And I’m a believer in having some blinders on. Our elementary school had some admin drama last year, but as long as my kids have good teachers, I’m happy. Is that bad? Who has time for drama, anyway?
- And finally, figuring out what times and dates my kids need to be at school. No easy task, let me tell you. I take the school schedule and put it into my google calendar each year, because I swear the kids have random days off every other week. “Teacher training days” or some such bullcrap. Ah well, they do what they do. I don’t know how kids with two full time working parents do it, though. I’d lose my job if I had to take that many days off…..good thing my boss now is so understanding.
That’s a lot of responsibility. And for a moment, while i was reflecting on that responsibility, I was very proud to be a Dad. Then the kids started fighting and the spell was broken.