Things that come so naturally can be extremely difficult to master. But with the dedication and hard work comes great pleasure and pride.....even if mastery isn't achieved.
This is something that I was contemplation the other night when talking to some old friends that I used to sing with. They have gone on to be professionals; some teaching others to be great and others striving for stardom. We were discussing technique and focusing images used as teaching tools. It made me very sad to reminisce about the technique, form and ability that I worked so hard on for years. Yearning for the life I was once planning; seeing my counterparts almost reaching those goals. As I typed these profound words above, it made me think of the things that they just couldn't understand yet.....those things that I gave up my stepping stones for and never regretting it for a moment as I followed a new path.....those parenting experiences.
The first thing that came to mind was breastfeeding. What a wonderful, natural, blessed thing that we are made to provide for our children! But, for all of us out there who have experienced it....we all know that it is a very difficult and sometimes agonizing thing to learn. For those who haven't experienced it, it is a natural thing, but it takes time and patience (and sometimes a ton of help) to be successful. That is why it is so important to support those who choose to do it. The first few weeks (or months) can be very difficult. If you persevere....the results are astonishing. It is worth every tear, every wince, every pain to reach that moment where it all falls into place....that moment of complete awe and comfort. Knowing that you are giving your child a way to be comforted in a way no one else can, to nourish in the best way possible, and to bond with you in such a special way. It can be breathtaking.
As I think about this, I start to realize that it applies to so many other parts of parenting too. It's amazing. This journey that we travel as parents. The things that come so naturally that can surprise us, like we had no idea that it was even a part of us to be able to do some of these things. The others that we thought should be natural, but we come to find that they are not and that we have to learn how to be better. I am awestruck sometimes at the ups and downs, the happy and the sad, the amazing little people that make up our families and this road that we travel as parents. We will one day get to see the fruits of our labors.
Bravo to all the wonderful parents out there! Keep up the hard work!