Yesterday (Sunday), I had the opportunity to be with my daughter and her family and my son and his. I watched how they cared for their small children, with love, patience, energy, and humor. And I marveled.
As I've mentioned before, my husband and I raised five children (and, in many ways, they raised us), so I have some idea of what it takes to be a parent. Parenting is not for wimps. Parenting is hard work. It takes everything you have and then some. And just when you think you're getting it right, it blows up in your face. So you start over. Again.
My daughter and her husband and my son call upon wells of reserve to teach and inspire, clean up after and chase after, love and, sometimes, just tolerate these small spirits entrusted to their care.
Too frequently, we observe the effects of neglectful parenting. News stories abound of child abuse, teens in trouble, etc. For all of that, though, there are many more parents who attend PTA meetings and bring dozens of cupcakes to bake sales, who read with their children and sing with them, who help them with homework and still find time to laugh.
A family in our church with seven young children (yes, seven) comes to mind. They home school their older children with quiet determination to give them the best education possible. They attend church and have their children there on time, clean, dressed, and reverent. Their love for family shows in everything they do. I wonder why this family and others like it do not make the five o'clock news.
So, for today, I am grateful for parents who do the hard work.