The Sweetest Spot of Parenting 4

When your children are young, between the ages of birth – 12 or so, you are in the sweetest spot of parenting.  This is something I didn’t come to truly understand until I became a grandparent.  It is why I dote on my grandchildren.  As a grandparent, I have the emotional energy to dote.

Let me tell you about the sweetness.

Sweet Noise: Laughter, tears, tantrums, and  sparring – those mini-tornadoes that blow through. 

Sweet Chaos:  Where did that thing that you just put right there go?  Why do permission slips, socks that match, and the other shoe go missing?  (You can get organized to mitigate these losses but “the borrowers” will take up residence in your home when you have young children.)

Sweet Chores: dishes to wash,  laundry to do, clothes to fold and put away, and floors to sweep.

Sweet Food:  breakfasts, lunches,  dinners, and snacks – many on the go unless you get organized about this and decide that the family meal will be preserved (in whatever version will work for your house).

Sweet activities: lessons, practices, recitals, field trips, clubs, birthday parties, cook-outs,  and demanding schedules.

Sweet holidays:  and other family rituals.

There’s a whole bunch of sweetness, enough to make you ache and tire and long for the time when the children will be more independent.  But don’t you rush it.  Soon enough they will be grown and gone (but before that they will be semi-grown and not-quite-gone yet not all there – this is a sour spot of parenting).

Enjoy the sweet years because they are filled with more love and joy and laughter and achievement than will ever happen at any other time (until grandchildren that is).  You should be so lucky. 

Don’t hurry these years.  Every time you blink – a year has passed and a child has entered a new phase.  Childhood is essentially 3-4 five year stretches.

Love them up.  Treasure the time.  Cherish the many moments – ordinary, wonderful moments –  that accumulate until that child launches (ready or not, you or them).

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About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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4 thoughts on “The Sweetest Spot of Parenting

  • Amy M

    I keep thinking about this post. You are so very right and I tell myself these very things on the tough days with my 3 year old sweet little girl. Some nights I go to bed sad thinking how her behavior or my behavior that day has caused me to wish the time away yet again.

  • Candelaria

    The great thing about kids is that they don’t usually remember naughty behavior or tense mom’s the next day.  Their sunshine/sweetness starts over again.  Continue enjoying.