Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union

No I am not going to breakdown the real "State of the Union" address last night. Although I do enjoy politics I believe it is more a topic of discussion over a cold one, then something you need to deal with while trying to enjoy a blog. Last nights address did get me thinking about speeches and famous quotes. I decided to comb though some quotes on parenting and discuss some that stuck out to me:

"The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable." ~Lane Olinghouse

This quote has rung true at our house many times. Weather it is announcing that she needs to go to the bathroom as the first fork full of dinner is being raised to our mouth, busting into the shower to turn the five minutes of quiet in to merely 30 seconds, or when one of us sneaks downstairs to use the elliptical for a workout and Lucy insists that she needs to works out and comes within inches of being clipped by the elliptical pedal.

"Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy." ~Robert A. Heinlein

This has been an issue that I have wrestled with, and probably will continue to as Lucy gets older and starts to deal with bigger life issues. As a parent it is difficult to see your child struggle with anything. With that said, it is also important for them to learn some things on their own. When to step back and when to step in will be a learning experience for me as a parent.

"Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children." ~Marilyn Penland

Lucy, I am going to take this opportunity to apologize in advance to you on this one. What I am sure of is that I will be the source of some embarrassment for you. I am optimistic it will be the ha-ha funny embarrassing, not the show up to your band concert in a pizza stained shirt and sweatpants!?!?!

"The guys who fear becoming fathers don't understand that fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man. The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent." ~Frank Pittman, Man Enough

This quote reminds me of when Libby and I started discussing the timing of having kids. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be a father. In hindsight there isn’t a perfect time or a time where you have everything else in life figured out. No doubt I have changed and developed as a person through being a parent.

"No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids." ~Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986

I have enjoyed watching other parents interact with their kids in public. It makes me laugh when I hear a mom say something with a baby voice to her kid or a dad tries to make a kid laugh by making a funny face. As a parent I not only a new perspective on this practice of bizarre behavior, but a lot of experience doing it. The picture below is an example of some bizarre behavior of my own during a recent painting project at our house.

"Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation." C. Everett Koop

Regardless of your political associations or feelings about the state of the union address, we can all agree there is a lot going on in the world around us. “What we leave for our children” needs to be more than a political catch phrase. As parents, what we do at home to build an educated, health, and thoughtful next generation will be our biggest contribution and our legacy.

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