This past weekend my daughter danced in the Cary Christmas parade. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it rained. No, there were not a lot of spectators.
It’s not the first year her group has danced in bad weather. I remember one particular year when it actually poured, and I watched the soggy, cold contingent of tap dancers with mascara running down their faces grin and bear it. Parents stood huddled under umbrellas, swaddled in down coats and wrapped in scarves, also grinning and bearing the messy weather.
In a way, I think this experience highlights the reality of parenting. We cannot just choose to be parents on sunny days – on days when our child gets an “A” on the test, is the lead in the school play or makes the winning point in the game.
We have to parent through the rain – the failed test, the rejection letter from the college, the missed point in the game. We are called on to do this with the same smile on our faces that we have when we are proud because our uncomfortableness and disappointment speak volumes to our children. As parents, we have to buck up and take whatever parenting throws at us. That’s the deal we made when we brought children into the world.
Sometimes, it’s hard to parent through the rain, but the sunny days make it all worthwhile, in my opinion. And the rainy days test our mettle, prove our strength and earn us the hidden scars and merit badges that secretly make us qualified to mold human beings.
So, let it rain. I’ll be there huddled under the umbrella knowing in my heart there are sunny days yet to come …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.
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