Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
My second-born is 17 years old today. Like each of my children, he's brought me more joy than I ever could have imagined. Well, at least after he got over the colic. And then there was the teensiest bit of parental stress when he got in a couple of (minor) fender-benders during the last few months. But between those events, we've experienced much joy. And perhaps a bump or two (or many) in the road.
Parenthood is bumpy. Road construction abounds, and hazardous driving conditions exist day and night. Navigating the streets of parenthood is no drive in the park. It can be difficult. (Did I actually write that out loud?)
Please excuse my candor. I know I'm not supposed to admit to being overwhelmed by an overwhelming job. Every once in awhile I joke about the trials and tribulations of parenthood and can be assured to get at least one e-mail chastising me for being an ungrateful mother who fails to count her blessings.
I am not ungrateful. Only honest. And I do count them. Every day. Usually more than once.
My kids are blessings beyond imagination. Let's get that out on the open road right now. I love them more than I ever thought possible. They are miraculous wonders.
If we were going to sugarcoat things, that would be the end of this column. Instead, we'll leave the sugarcoating to my kitchen countertops. (After my kids experiment with melting chocolate chips in the microwave, again, while I am at the grocery store.)
After 20 years on the job (no pink slip yet) I've come to understand parenting isn't about sugarcoating. It's about love. And hard work. And sacrifice. And cleaning chocolate out of the microwave.
It's about sticking with something (or someone) when things aren't what you'd anticipated and, then again, when they are something much better than you ever envisioned.
My kids cause me to worry. I lose sleep over things they do or don't do. I wonder if I've done enough for them, or maybe I've done too much.
They expose the worst in me sometimes. My patience is short. I don't take time to listen. I jump to conclusions before I know the entire story. I make a rash judgment, and then wish I hadn't. I admit this with trepidation. No one wants to confess to being a less than perfect mother.
I am a less than perfect mother.
The road of parenthood is bumpy and I am a human being with little or no talent for driving in restrictive conditions. I am humbled every day when I wake up and realize I have been granted the honor of being called Mom by my kids.
My second born child celebrated his birthday today. All in all, navigating the last 17 years with him has been a joy (and will continue to be, as long as he brings his chemistry grade up). I look forward to what lies on the road ahead. What a privilege it is to ride shotgun and have a front seat view as the events unfold.
Follow Slices of Life on Facebook. Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" E-mail her at
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