January 25th, 2011 – Life is a Highway. . .

With Jack’s new found obsession with cars and Cars the movie, the song “Life is a Highway” has been the unintentional theme song in our home for the past week. The interesting thing about a highway is you have to go with the flow. You evaluate your surroundings, you plot your course, and you just go the way of the road and whatever may come your way. If that is not a description of parenting, I don’t know what is. Sometimes there are road blocks and detours, but for the most part, as long as you’re able to just drive and enjoy the scenery, it doesn’t matter so much where you end up.

This lesson is one that Mommy is working on applying to our little life, especially with the start of this new Spring semester. Last semester Mommy was seriously stressed out and overwhelmed with school work. Unfortunately, when Mommy is stressed, that tends to translate into stress for Little Man and Daddy. Over the course of the Winter Break, Daddy and Mommy had a conversation about this, many conversations actually. Mommy expressed that there is nothing more important than the happiness and health of our entire family. So, since Daddy handles Mommy’s school schedule, we decided on courses that would allow a sense of balance and tranquility. Well, as much tranquility as one can have with a two year old. We also decided on a few tactics that will help with organization and set a few goals to help keep us on track.

To start with, Mommy now only has three nights a week that I have evening classes and two of those nights Mommy doesn’t leave until after Jack is in bed. This means that Daddy and Jack have a boys night only once a week. While Mommy thinks this may impeded on Jack’s poker education and tutelage, it certainly allows for a more normal weeknight pace. Also, rather than Mommy needing to leave for a few hours three days a week during the afternoon for classes, I have morning classes three days a week. This means that while Jack is still waking up and settling into his day, he gets special Daddy and Jack time. Since I’m able to be home by 9:45, Jack is generally still in a good mood and we’re able to have Mommy and Jack play time before his nap. Also, with the exception of Mondays, Mommy will either have just a morning class or just an evening class on any given day. All of this translates into far less stress on all of us. However, given that Mommy is not a morning person, we’re still working on a few adjustments to make mornings run a little smoother.

Mommy and Daddy want Jack to have the best childhood he possibly can that will provide him with a solid and healthy foundation for the rest of his life. As his parents we know that nothing is more important. However, a lot plays into the building of that foundation including showing Jack how to deal with personal priorities like education/work and being good examples. Finding a balance is always a challenge, but Mommy and Daddy have never backed away from a challenge. We know we’re still going to have days in which Jack is more of a jackal than a little boy, but we’ll also have days where we can’t imagine moments any closer to perfection. Life is a highway. You go where the road takes you, but you control your speed. You control what you choose to pay attention to and who you let in the car. These aren’t always easy choices, but as long as you remember to enjoy the company you keep and take the occasional pit stop, it’s one awesome ride. It also helps to have some awesome tunes to sing along to, which is one of Jack’s new favorite activities.

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