We’ve all heard that parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. This just in: it’s both. It’s a sprint marathon uphill through fire and pitfalls and ROUS-es and you have to start the race on no sleep and questionable nutrition, with absolutely no training and only the guidance of your local facebook parents group for advice. On its best days, it is exhausting. On it’s worst days - and no matter how curated your instagram feed, everyone knows you have bad days too - it fails words.
So how do you do it? You find your village. You love on other people’s kids and hope that on the days that you struggle the most, someone from the village is there to love on yours. You accept help graciously and gratefully, and you learn to identify help in its multiple definitions - a ride home from practice, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a shoulder to literally cry on. You give help when you can and take it when you need it and through it all you keep looking down the road to the days when the marathon feels more like a float down a calm river. It’s still 26 miles and it’s still dangerous and there are still pitfalls but … BUT … the floating downstream with a cold beer and some hot gossip is a lot more enjoyable than running up the hill through sleet and in last season’s snowboots. You learn that your journey will have both.
As the school year begins again, as pre-season starts and you are scheduling the back to school haircuts and shopping for school supplies, give a silent moment of praise for your village and send a quick text to the villagers to say LET’S DO THIS. And let’s do this together.