What's the point of parenting?
We get caught up in the daily grind of getting everyone fed, washed, clothed, lunched, homeworked, driven here, picked up there. At the end of the day it's a success if we got through it, especially for parents who work outside the home as well as in it.
But is that the end of the story? We have, if we are lucky, about 18 years with our kids before they move out and move on. Is that what we've been working for?
My kids are now 13 and 14, and I'm midway between toddler madness and college applications. I try to cherish every day with them because this far in, I know how fleeting it really is. What seemed like an endless stream of days when they were both in diapers now looks a lot like the home stretch. I miss my babies, my toddlers and my preschoolers as much as I love being with my teenagers.
The point is, the fleeting blur of the go-go days is NOT the point of all this work. As I watch my children move toward adulthood, and I see glorious glimpses of who they are becoming, I know that the point of parenting is the creation of the next generation of adults. And I want them to be capable, caring, responsible, loving, moral, and happy. And I pray the parent's prayer that what I'm trying to give them each day-- love, encouragement, limits, discipline-- will get them there.