Caregiving: Parenting: Friendship

Dear friends who are parents,

If you stop to think for a moment, I’m sure you would agree that the all-too-frequent unclaimed layer of caregiving is being a parent.  This role lasts a lifetime, is intense, expensive, passionate and all heart.  It’s also confusing, ambivalent, exhausting, infuriatiang, heart-breaking and one unending surprise after another.  Are you convinced yet of the correlation between parenting and caregiving?

There is a magical eclipse, however,  where the caregiving is muted and morphs somewhat tacitly away from the tug of war, the philosophical battleground of who’s right and who’s not, the money pit of need and want and how about a $20 for the game.  It’s a gradual, glacial process that may takes years or not, depending on your child.

Suddenly, the stars shift, some new situation arises and voila! you see your child in a very different manner.  Caregiving comes out of the closet of obligation and evolves into a beautiful moment of freedom and awareness.  Miraculously, your son or daughter becomes an adult friend, someone to talk to into the wee hours, to share with, to tell secrets to, ravage through past horrors and to admit past mistakes.

Where has this conversation been for so long?  The answer is hard to craft.  The conversation has been choked by time and circumstance, by stubbornness and competition, by awkwardness and shyness, by immaturity (on both sides) and preconceived notions.  It has lain dormant in a box of our own design but at just the fitting moment, you or your child risk removing the lid.  What happens next is better than Christmas morning.

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will and you will rejoice as I am.

Happy Holidays to parents who do the world’s most phenonomenal caregiving job.