Parenting is exhausting. In fact, if you are a parent and you aren’t tired, then you are doing it wrong. Most nights when Ami and I get to bed, the only pile higher than the dishes in the sink is the pile of washing waiting to be dealt with. Of course, “sleep” is a relative term when applied to parents. “Napping” is often more like it. You learn to grab whatever cat naps you can wherever you can (until someone knocks on the toilet door, that is).
At the same time, parenting is rewarding. In fact, if you are a parent and you aren’t finding it rewarding, you are doing it wrong. Just when you think things can’t get worse, they don’t. A child runs into your arms as you come home from work, a human missile of love and exuberance. Shortly followed by two others whose momentum throws you right on your backside. Suddenly, it all seems worth it – the sleepless nights, the tornado days. For a brief moment, perspective breaks through and you are at peace.
Considering that siblings share 99.99% of their genes and about the same percentage of environmental nurture, it is astonishing how different siblings are. Not just different from one another, but also different from their parents. Ours are no exception. Ami and I jokingly blame each other for our children’s bad traits and compliment ourselves for their good traits. But, truth be told, heaven only knows where it all comes from. There is no rhyme, reason or pattern. No recipe, no protocol, no model. As if that is not enough, each child changes so much from day to day.
It is these differences and changes that produce most of the agony and the ecstasy of family life. Most times, you feel like you are playing soccer with a cricket ball one day and rugby with a loaf of bread the next. Nothing prepares you for the daily changes in the rules, so you make things up as you go along. Fortunately, little habits and routines become anchors around which one can tie the thin rope of sanity for a few seconds before stepping back into the swirling tide of “aliveness”. Nobody said it would be boring.
Here at Muller Central, our roller coaster is about to take yet another corkscrew twist. In less than a week from now, our next baby is due. As usual, we still don’t know the gender of the baby, but at least we know it’s only one child (this is quite useful to know in advance). As soon as “nu-nu” arrives, I’ll drop you an email with more details. So watch this space! And thereafter, prepare for a loooong silence as we enjoy the corkscrew twist for a while. With a bit of luck, I may get around to another mass email by 2014 or so… Until then, remember that we really love you!
You can catch snippets of our family news by “friending” Ami or myself on Facebook (details below). For the rest, enjoy life with those whom God has given you to love!
Frank. Ami, Ludwig (7), Otto (5), Kara (3) and “Nu-nu” (0)
PO Box 4075, George East, 6539, South Africa