In the vein of providing parent support, some “I see you …” thoughts over the last few weeks. I intend this as more of a “I see you and I feel you” type of observations. We are all in this together.
- I see you … parents rolling through the drop-off at school and feeling the pressure of the early-morning rush. Combine the chaos of getting kids to school on time with your own plans for the day, it’s not always easy. In my case, each day is different. One morning this week I resisted drinking my coffee so I could have for the ride to school with Carson. As I was leaving the driveway, I realized I forgot it. I assumed I left it on the counter in the house until I got home later and realized I left it on the asphalt. My hands were full, so I set it down and forgot within seconds about it.
- I see you … parents having a conversation with your teen and wondering where he or she is looking because clearly the focus is not on you. When this happens to me, I intentionally say the most ridiculous thing so I can confirm my 14-year-old is not listening. During one period of heightened frustration, I told him it was best to be without his phone for a month. He only heard one word, saying, “what was that about my phone again?” There may be a little bit of hearing going on, but there’s next to no listening happening.
- I see you … sports dads talking to your child about their game as they walk off the soccer field, offering tips and suggestions on the kid’s level of play and energy level. Take it from me: this is the last thing your young athletes need. I know because I, too, did not have enough restraint to let my kid catch his breath after a game or practice. I was able to wait until we got in the car to head home, but I was often informing him of my views before he got out of the parking lot. I regret those reactions looking back. It’s not what he needed from his dad.
- I see you … a community offering tremendous support for the Knupp family with donations, messages of support on marquees and the like. It’s inspiring and speaks of the heart of this community.
- I see you … parents walking up to Berlin’s Octoberfest event on Saturday with your teen(s). I sense you do what we do. We want our teen to hang with us until we realize we don’t if he’s going to be embarrassed and ashamed to be seen with us. I see the look of disgust as you bid your kid bye with orders to stay in touch and head for the beer truck. Cheers!
- I see you … mothers slowly walking through the grocery store aisle after work. I assume there’s an enjoyment of the peace and quiet after a long day before heading home with a load of groceries and responsibilities.
- I see you … fathers clearing your schedule on Monday mornings ahead of an afternoon in Baltimore for the Ravens games.
- I see you … exhausted parents of young kids after long beach days. These are truly some of the best parenting memories I have, but it’s a lie to say these days are all positives. Though different now with my kids 14 and 12 years old, respectively, I remember well the trials and tribulations of taking toddlers to the beach. I also remember the multiple trips back and forth from the beach to have a mountain of gear nearby. I know how exhausting it can be keeping the kids safe in the ocean and entertained on the beach.
It’s why I commiserate a bit when I see a family out to eat after a summer day. Everyone is just exhausted, but they are on vacation and seem intent on getting out. It’s fun to observe from a distance because we have all been there. The kids are ready for downtime or maybe even bed. The parents might be too, but they probably would prefer some libations before calling it a day and doing it all over again the next day.
- I see you … fathers running to get carryout at a restaurant for the family but first having a drink to just chill and relax before returning home.
- I see you … teachers seemingly starting each day with fresh perspective and positivity. This can’t be easy – especially on Mondays — but I know in my case it’s appreciated.
- I see you … parents animatedly walking in the early evenings with friends or on a phone call. I have no idea what’s being said, but I imagine it involves a story or two about children. It appears to a stranger to be a serious vent session among friends, which we all need every now and again. Add exercise to the equation and it’s a good use of time if you ask me.
- I see you … parents desperately wanting to run into Dunkin’ for a quick pickup while having kids in tow, requesting a donut or six as you sigh at the long line and wait time.
- I see you … parents picking up your kids from school with a weekend ahead. It’s clear from the loaded vehicle camping is on tap. I imagine what the hours beforehand were like. If your house is like mine, there are lists – which usually get lost three or four times — of what to take. It appears to be far too much stuff for just a couple days, but invariably there’s a realization of some sort about something being forgotten. In my case, it’s usually a needed charger cord, deodorant or a razor. The kids seem to have all they need, but I can’t recall the last time I went out of town without a visit to a local store to pick up something left behind.