Sometimes, I want parenting to be easy. I want to be able to blame any difficulties on something outside -- school, holidays, busy grownups, too many activities -- even when the truth is that being a child means being a child. It is messy and inconvenient and gorgeous. Growing up isn't easy; why should helping someone to grow up be easy?
I feel as if I should know by now, but I forget over and over, that when things get awful feeling and hard and so very annoying I want to scream and yell, that big changes are happening. When you're travelling, and you get lost or confused, or the car breaks down, or the train is no longer stopping at the exact station you needed, it's time to sit down, shut up, and check the map. Then, look around at where you are. What is really around you? What can you see, feel, hear, touch, smell?
So right now, I'm checking my maps, my guidebooks. I'm filling the tank, picking up snacks, resting up. Lightening the load. Repacking the stuff that's gotten jumbled on the way. Remembering where I'm going, and why...
My wish for you, as this holiday season whirls towards new year's, with all the promises and resolve that are entailed, is this: that even if the road is blocked or potholed, even if you feel like you're running on fumes, that you can always find a map, a rest stop, a few snacks, and, maybe, the confidence to throw out the maps and drive by feeling, looking for the familiar landmarks that remind you we are always on a journey home, to ourselves.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.