Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Joys of Parenthood and other Stories

Throughout my career I have always heard the criticism that my children get preferential treatment, and that I always get first pick of everything to do with school because of my position as Superintendent, etc.

Suffice it to say, that these statements could not be any farther from the truth. If anything, the road for my kids has been harder to travel because they are under a constant microscope and are sometimes used as vessels by adults to get messages to me. Unfair? Life is unfair. No biggie, but I do have some street smart boys (hopefully book smarts boys, too!). Last year was incredibly difficult for my wife, children, and I to fit into a much larger and much more competitive school community. This year has been somewhat easier for my wife and children, I think because they have had a year to establish friendships and know the new routines of being in a much larger place.

Two events last week really reminded me how stressful it can be to be a parent. First, was basketball try-outs for both of my boys. Our school is incredibly competitive, and I can tell you that we spent two very stressful evenings waiting to see if we were going to have boys playing on our own school teams or if they would be signing up for some of the other offerings in the community. They were fortunate enough to make the school teams. The lesson learned by both my boys was that hard work, practice, and skill can pay off. The lesson learned by us as parents, was that we need to prepare our children to recover from situations where their best may not be good enough someday because inevitably it will happen. The third lesson that I learned is that maybe I should get some training as a sports psychologist for both parents and students :>)

The second stressor was trying to get the boys registered for the H1N1 vaccine. As Superintendent I have had all of the information, all of the notifications, and all of the web site addresses necessary regarding H1N1. Like you, though, I was at my computer at 9:00AM trying to get the most important website link; the one to register my kids for the H1N1 vaccine on December 2! I was able to connect to the site around 9:03AM and even registered one child for a 4:00PM slot. Easy I thought. Then I saw that there were 520 slots available for the 4:00PM time slot. No problem I thought. I would just click BACK on my browser and register my other son and be on my way. Click, click, click....nothing... I started to feel very panicky. I have a Board Meeting at 7:00PM on the December 2 and I am sure that I will be helping the county workers that evening as well, so I really needed the 4:00PM slot. I waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, I was able to register my other son. What was 520 slots a few minutes before was now down to 320. Click. Registered. 4:00PM. I put myself into the shoes of a line worker or someone who could not get to a computer until after work and just thought to myself that parenting is much more difficult than my job will ever be.

I apologize that this post is a little longer than normal, but I thought it would be nice for you to read that we are all in this parenting thing together.

Enjoy your week and I will post soon.