Parents spend time raising good kids by taking them out to a variety of experiences

Tuesdays with Junie, and Her Parents’ “Time-Out”

31 Days of Resolutions – Day 10

Today is Tuesday, and Tuesdays get a star on my agenda because I get to visit with my grand-niece, June.

We mostly have fun, except when she’s tired or hungry. Like her aunt, those are times when you really wish you weren’t around her.

Our visits remind me that it is hard to be stay-at-home parents, even part-time.

It’s been a while since those days for me, but it isn’t a time you soon forget.

Yes, there are rewards to parenting. Raising kind and generous kids is one of the biggest pay-offs parents enjoy. That’s the long-view, however. In the short term, especially with infants and toddlers, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Take toys, for instance. What parent says “My little (fill in the name here) loves his toys so much. He can play for hours.”

Nope, never happens. We all know that an eye-level electric outlet is way more interesting than any basket of baby Legos or stuffed animals. And minutes can seem like hours. Can it really only be ten minutes? Isn’t it naptime yet?

Some may say that when your kids are young is the best time of your life. I don’t know if that’s true. It’s never the parents who are actually raising young kids. And time, like distance, makes the look back a lot rosier than it actually was.

Singing twenty-six verses of “London Bridge,” stacking blocks over and over, reading the same book so many times that you don’t need to look at the pages, all of this can be mind-numbing.

I know that my niece and nephew work very hard to make sure that June is happy, healthy, and engaged. Sometimes, “tired” is written all over their faces. I must remember to tell them that June and I have fun playing peek-a-boo, clapping to songs, Saying “shh, shh, shh” with our fingers to our mouths like the mommies on the bus.

But it’s easier for the older me than it was for the younger me to have fun with a baby. I know that June will go home and I’ll have time to clean my house, cook dinner for my family, catch the news, and maybe even lie down for a bit.

When you are a young parent, you are never sure about those things.

So, remembering how hard it was, I will try to say, “What can I do to help you?” and “Sure, June can come over.” It’s the least I can do for two people who are raising a kind, generous, smart, and fun young person.

I can’t wait until next Tuesday.

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