It’s late, the kids are fast asleep, and I’ve just settled into my favorite spot in our house with a cup of steaming coffee and the latest book I’m reading. Suddenly, I hear it- a scream, from the basement, it’s my wife. I spring from my spot, hot coffee splashing over the side of the mug and onto my lap, my book falling to the floor, bending pages and losing my spot. No need to check in with her, no need to ask the typical, “What’s wrong?” I know what’s going on. I know the reason for the scream: SPIDERS.
Yes, spiders! We have a basement full of them. Like a covert mission of Army Rangers, they creep up on any unsuspected person (usually my wife), and produce the piercing screeches that move me into action on this night. We used to have a pest control company managing this but they eventually gave up. The spiders just scoffed at the notion anyway. Those little creatures have power! My weapons of choice are usually a shoe, paper towel, and occasionally a can of Raid (picture John Goodman from Arachnophobia).
I roll in like a hurricane, ice in my veins, a glare of death in my eye, and take the arachnid down! As I watch the life escape from it’s tiny body and it’s 6-8 eyes slowly close, it looks up at me with one last breath and asks, “Why?” With a blank expression I glare back, point my finger toward it, and emphatically declare, “YOU know why!” My wife is waiting atop the end table by the sofa, as I sheath my sword (can of Raid or a shoe) and rescue her! I scoop her into my arms as she declares, “My hero, you saved us all!” (I may or may not have exaggerated this entire paragraph).
I love being a spider assassin. It’s one of many roles that I play in our family. Not only am I a spider-assassin, but I’m also a fly-killer, scrape-bandager-upper, boo-boo-fixer, headless-rodent-in-the-back-yard-scooper-upper (thank you dogs), vomit-cleaner-upper, hole-in-the-wall-from-rowdy-play-patcher-upper, teardrop-catcher, broken-spirit-encourager, bad-day-shoulder-to-cry-on’er-upper (sorry, I had to make that up so it matched), math-challenge-at-school-passed-celebrater, poopy-diaper-wiper (not any more, thank you Jesus), bicycle-fall-picker-upper, bloody-nose-kleenex-giver, nailed-a-part-in-the-musical-celebrater, killer-job-playing-goalie-cheerer, and much much more. (You should see my wife’s resume!)
Isn’t parenting fun? You and I have so many roles, within the role of parenting, that we play. If you’re anything like us, you look back over the course of your parenting career, perhaps all the way back to when you first met the mother or father of your children, and you realize that you couldn’t have scripted this any better. In the chaos and imperfection of your family, there’s perfection. Celebrate it. Embrace it. That’s all you really can do. You’re rendered fairly helpless anyways, when your more-than-potty-trained 4 and half year old decides he was too busy playing at a friends house to go #2 in the potty! Good times.
What are some of the other ‘many roles’ that you’ve played as a parent over the years? Share with us.