My kids surprised me this time. They are getting older these days and I sometimes wonder if the stuff that worked when they were 5 will work anymore now that they are 9.
I keep hearing from parents who say, “Just wait till they get older,” with a foreboding tone. They refer to the age of 5 as this golden era when their kids were actually a joy to be around. It reminds me of the parents who kept claiming “The Terrible Two’s” or three’s or whatever. When my wife and I talk about when ours were two, we are grateful that was not our story. We were still amazed they were real. We’d been trying to have kids for 9 1/2 years and started to believe that we wouldn’t be able to. Nowadays I hear parents talk about the “teenage” years with that same “terrible two’s” tone. I look forward to it like I did before mine were two.
So back to the surprise, we were traveling back from church out on the west side of the state. We had to get up bright and early to get there. On the way home, I expected my kids would sleep but instead they wanted story. They took up their positions, but this time the enemy outnumbered us so much everyone had to bust out machine guns. If you travel about mid-Michigan you might know what I’m referring to, yep, corn. Just before harvest time, corn and soybean fields lined both sides of the road. They were on us at every moment, it was a blast. Machine guns and bombs were our tools of war. Any combine that was already out harvesting the corn was an ally. We did our best but it was a massacre.
In the end, what I’m trying to say to new parents and old, don’t let others tell your story for you. They are embittered for a reason, and as my wife and I have learned, don’t take it from them. Let them keep it. We both are middle children and have found that we feel responsible to take the burdens from others and shoulder it to help make them happy. But it doesn’t help, they don’t want to be happy. Walk away, just walk away and shoot some corn with your kids.