Parental Perspective: Full of Fire

This is another post in an on-going series. The previous one was back in December and can be viewed here.

Everyone warns you about the “terrible twos”. It’s the butt of many jokes from older parents and grandparents and the nightmare of those experiencing it. You would expect those fearsome twos to begin when the child is actually two years old, but, alas, this is not so. No one warns you about the “terrible one and a halves”.

Our son is quickly developing his personality and forming his own opinions. Thankfully, he hasn’t discovered politics or the culture wars yet, but he has strong thoughts on what he should eat, what he should watch (and when), and what he should be able to play with. He has a mind and will of his own and is not afraid to cross the lines we set. “Oh, you don’t want me to grab this off the countertop? Whoops! I spilled coffee on myself and I’m upset! Daddy, do something!”  Most of the time these things cause little conflict. He’s really a good kid, actually. When they do reach meltdown territory, though, you find yourself wishing he did know about politics.

The main problem–from what I can see–regarding our current state lies in the simple fact that he has more energy than his parents. He can get little sleep and still blast off like a NASA rocket. We could, in a dream scenario, get eight hours of sleep and need a vat of coffee to get our motors running.  It’s a horrible imbalance. He’s full of fire and we’re full of smoke. We have years of life piled up on our backs, he floats in the air like a feather. When it’s all tallied up, our advantages seem very meager indeed.

Still, there’s something about having a little flash paper fire running around our house that feels good for us (not a literal fire, mind you). My wife and I are in a stage of life where, as hard as it is at times, we could use a boost of energy. Our son provides that. He keeps going and so we must as well, otherwise he’ll give himself a concussion somehow and probably electrocute a teddy bear. I’m starting to sense more tensions in life as I get older and I’m starting to appreciate them. I see tensions in doctrines, tensions in relationships, tensions in household dynamics. These tensions are complicated and often cause stress, and yet they are necessary. They give life some spice or color. I may prefer it if my son switched to decaf in the mornings, but since that won’t be reality I will embrace what is life and enjoy it as much as I can for as long as it lasts. Because some day he will discover politics and culture wars…and I’m not ready for that.

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