I wanted to switch it up with my column this week. I got super excited at the thought of creating a Multiples Illuminated video. In my excitement, I forgot my camera-awkward presence and inability to go more than two sentences without swearing. I didn’t take into account my lack of any somewhat professional camera equipment or editing ability. Who needs those things when you have an iPhone, right? Well, I shot off an excited email to Alison and Megan about how I would tackle real parenting problems in a Stanley Kubrick meets Quentin Tarantino parent video. In my mind, I imagined the camera panning in on a young, handsome, father of three being the best dad ever.
Slow pan out, the children say, “Daddy, I love you more than my favorite toy. I will never disobey you and I will be an honor student through high school and college.”
I could see me accepting my award for best video on the Internet ever; narrowly beating out the Numa Numa guy and the Star Wars Kid. I would dedicate my award to parents of multiples everywhere, of course.
Well, obviously I am writing this. Which means the video wasn’t made. I’d like to pretend the video was too beautiful and my wonderful editors are saving it for their upcoming project with the working title Punk Rock Papa: Listen, Parent, I Got YOU! A collection of Punk Rock Papa Multiple Wisdoms.
I didn’t make the video, which means maybe I should apologize for the second time I have rushed an excited idea to my editors without fully thinking it through.
That happens a lot in life, doesn’t it? Not the wanting-to-film thing, but having these grandiose ideas of how things will be. The truth is, my video probably would have had crappy lighting, screaming children, and me sweating profusely while mumbling and saying ‘Um’ a lot.
We hold these lofty expectations with everything before realism sets in. I know I did it when I found out my family was going to grow by two. I imagined these two adorable angels, well-groomed and even better behaved. What I got instead was two moderately angelic children who hardly wear pants and have selective hearing.
Does this mean I have somehow failed because my preconceived ideas of perfection fell flat? Absolutely not. We hold ourselves to these high expectations when the truth is, we have no idea what it is we are getting into with parenting. Let alone parenting multiples.
Parenting, like most things, is something you get better at over time. You pick up the skills along the way, boldly moving forward and learning from each previous frame. Okay, enough with the allusions.
“Teaching is useless unless you can learn from your students.”
The above quote by Martin Dansky is a personal favorite of mine I apply to parenting. Every day, you learn. The biggest failure we, as parents, can make, is not learning and growing with our children. This means we can’t have these insane ideations of being the parent we told everyone we would be before children. Children are wildcards, with no intentions of following your meticulously laid-out life plan.
I think this is one of the true joys of being a parent. The personal growth attached to being a father or mother is simply fulfilling.
I didn’t make my picture perfect film. I am not a picture perfect parent. But, every day I wake up and work to be the best parent I can be for my children. That is what is most important.