I can remember mornings when I struggled to find clothes that were reasonably clean of spit up. Sleep walking through weeks without uninterrupted rest. Potty training, enough said. In later years it was the hassle over homework and limit setting that frazzled my nerves. Hours spent sitting in music lessons and then at home supervising squeaking instruments and squawking protests about practice. Clutching the side door handle to log driving time before they got their license. Volunteering to attend board (boring) meetings to pitch in and make school a more encouraging place. I admit to frequent “laundry runs” to pass through the living room chaperoning snuggling teens on the couch so they wouldn’t get too comfortable. Parenting, leadership, is not always fun.
Following is no picnic either. My children also had to sacrifice in their growing up years. Who really wanted to wear matching shirts on family trips so we could all stay together? I am sure it feels awful to have to eat brussel sprouts and other suspiciously green food when what you really want is dessert. Potty training, enough said. Having to go to bed when there is more fun going on in the house. The agony of being forced to study for something that “doesn’t have anything to do with real life.” Stress over hearing your parents argue and worrying that they will get divorced. Being the last kid to have a cell phone, a Face book account, designer jeans . . . at least that’s what they told me.
For our family there were so many times that patience, self-control, and delayed gratification were required to tame the beast in us that wanted to lash out, run away, or give up. It is the power of family that makes it all possible.
Regardless of the shape, size, or configuration of your family I hope you think it is all worth it. I do.
Watch this video to see a very unusual portrait of the power of family:.