Thursday, May 30, 2019

Getting My Hands Dirty

I have made five batches of homemade slime with my daughter since May 18th.  But it hasn't exactly been a "team effort."  Her contribution has been selecting the color and adding the glue to the bowl.  The bulk of the work has been mine. No matter how much I encourage her... I'm the one who has to put my hands in the goop.

As I worked on a bright pink batch the other morning, it occurred to me that this slime-making process feels a lot like parenting feels lately.

I'm the one who has to kneed it, and determine if we need more shaving cream or contact solution.

I'm the one who has to touch it before it's perfected and ends up with the sticky gunk under my fingernails.

I'm the one who has to put in the time, and make it "acceptable" enough for my daughter to want to play with it. 

Parenting is hard, and while I'm very grateful that I'm getting helpful "ingredients" from outside sources (my husband, my parents, my sisters, my friends) it feels like a lot of it falls on my shoulders. And on the really bad days, it feels like I'm tackling these messy parts alone. 

I guess what really made the connection in my head between parenting and slime-making is that I'M putting the work in, but I'm ultimately doing it for SOMEONE else. 

The things that I teach my daughter about respect and responsibility are going to (hopefully) make things easier for her future teachers.  The things I show her about kindness and empathy are going to help make her a more loving person toward her future friends/partners.  The things I preach to her about working hard and not giving up are going to help her future employers know they can trust her with the big projects and that she deserves that raise. 

So the next time I'm sticky, covered in slime, and muttering under my breath... I'm going to try to remember why I'm *really* getting my hands dirty in the first place. 

1 comment:

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