Each one is different. Diverse, yet still serving the same purpose.
Some stand out. Proud and boastful, showcasing their bright colors.
Some are ghostly white. Easy to spot, but also easy to ignore.
The faded and tired are mixed in somewhere. They have been around a long time and no one bothers to care that they are barely existing.
And lastly, there are the ones that have no definition at all. No boundaries. No guide. No set rules.
No matter the status, it is first come……first serve. Beacons that challenge us to take life into our own hands, while racing to grab a spot up close. To find shade under that lone tree. To maneuver around others with no concept of kindness.
Parenting is like a parking lot.
With parenting, there are rules and requirements. Much like parking a car. Some are ingrained in stone, while most change with each tick of the clock. Or better yet, with each flash of my blinker.
I can’t keep up.
The dance classes, football practices, volleyball games, tutoring, art classes and the stress induced pharmacy drive-thru. Doctor’s offices, grocery stores, libraries and movie theaters. My list of parking spots are endless.
My routine is simple. I park. I sit. I wait.
I spend a good portion of my time…..idling. In a state of unconscious limbo. Waiting for the next wave of activities to guide me.
As I sit, I survey the parking lot.
There are others like me. Each have a common purpose.
Some have multiple kids running around screaming. Because…well….. That’s what kids do. I envy them. They are free.
I feel like jumping out of this mini-prison on wheels and scream at the top of my lungs. To join in their freedom.
A parent’s future is paved with an endless amount parking lots. Mine fields for those who want their child to be busy. To be active. To be involved. Blah, Blah Blah……
“What the hell were we thinking?”, I ask myself…out loud.
I want to reach out and shake the parent next to me. Hopeful that they will wake from their comatose state of waiting. Maybe even enlighten me on why we do what we do.
Day in and day out. We continue to wait.
Is it out of love? Out of obligation?
The Parenting Parking Lot is a large, vast area where many never pay attention. Usually focused and distracted. Never noticing those who are struggling.
Completely oblivious, while trying to reach that designated spot. At the designated time.
As I sit here today, waiting for a child to emerge from another fabulous extracurricular activity, I realize that these are my moments of calm before the storm.
My opportunity to find tranquility.
I am slowly learning to enjoy these times
Because once the kids are grown and gone, where will I have to be?