As a “Manny” you will acquire a very unique perspective on kids and parents and the relationship between the two. At times you act as one of the kids and fool around with them, and other times you as a parental figure who has to reinforce the rules and laws that the parents have set up. I can instantly relate to both sides of the equation now, and the dynamic between everyone.
Parenting really is the hardest job out there. It is 24/7 365 days a year for the REST of your life. It is not a job where you can leave at 5PM and start fresh the next day sipping your freshly brewed coffee. More often then not you are not thanked for doing the laundry, you are not thanked for cooking for the small army of rug-rats running around, you are not thanked for getting them to soccer practice on time, or even buying them that really sweet pair of new shoes with your own petty cash. Most of the time you are constantly being bombarded with phrases like “where is my clean soccer jersey?! I don’t want to eat broccoli for dinner. Gimme, gimme, gimme- more, more, more- now, now, now!” As most parents would say, they do it because they love their kids. Which is what any good parent does. I secretly think that parents would have it no other way. But don’t quote me because I am still single and have no kids of my own. I will find that out one day when I have my own.
Roles change big time between parent and child (and Manny), something I am currently experiencing. One second the kids want you at every soccer game, music recital, field trip, and after school talent show, the next second they act as though you have the bubonic plague and don’t want you anywhere near them. The actual site of you will cause them to spontaneously erupt in an emotional outburst. The interesting thing here is they still want their laundry freshly fluffed and folded, and a home cooked meal waiting on the table for them! Still no thank you, still no guidelines on how to deal with these changing times. Everyone has experienced this, it is a part of growing up, it is a part of parenting. Roles just change.
I have learned that rolling with the punches is the only way to live. You know that cheese ball line, “It takes a village to raise a kid”? Well, as cheesy as it sounds, it is definitely true. Although the kids may not be coming to us as much for every little thing they need they are just growing up and getting what they need from other people. They are out in the world experiencing everything they need to experience on their own. They are growing up, and that can be hard for all parties involved. All those new things like going to the mall for the first time alone, or riding their bike to soccer practice are good things. They are wonderful things, they are awesome things because it means that you are succeeding as parent (Manny). One role that will never change is the role of in-house chef and in house laundry attendant for those kids. See guys-somethings never change!