Let’s be frank, being a parent can be one of the most frustrating and mentally/physically debilitating exercises on earth. With no guide-book or ‘parental GPS’, we are cast out into the abyss of parenthood armed with our own fragile fortitude and the modeling provided by chosen parents. Which quite possibly for many of us, could have been short of an absolute train wreck.
Yet for all that frustration, guilt, second-guesses, and self-deprecation that comes with a parenting road map, every once in a while we get it right. In that incomparable moment we realize what we and our lives are all about. Those moments arrive when our kid stands up for a sibling, when he or she sings the solo in the school choir, or out of nowhere, let’s us know she loves us. It does not take much for us to melt under the simplicity of our children, yet we pour so much into the realization of those moments and practically kill ourselves in the process.
Parent Up is my attempt to share my understandings and my experiences of parenting with others. I am no specialist and I hold no particular degree in the subject matter. I do believe I have a unique perspective though and one that has allowed a small window to open for me.
For the past 16 years, I have served as the president of my company known as Kidventure Inc. Since 1994, we have operated summer camps for children between the ages of 3-14. During a ‘typical’ summer we serve over 5000 children (and their parents) in camp programs in Houston, Austin and Hunt, Texas. Over the years, I have come to know many children, their parents and the relationships of many. I am blessed to be able to do what I do and feel privileged. In addition to the many camp programs I run in my professional life, my most important camp is that of my own at home. There I am ‘co-counselor’ with my wife Peggy to three beautiful and challenging campers Peyton, MacKenna and Lou Lou.
Parent Up is also a ‘call to arms’ not in the military sense, but of the ones that hang from our shoulders. I believe that too many parents and too many times, we fail to recognize our importance and put forth the kind of effort our kids not only require, but deserve from us. I believe for many in our generation, the idea and practice of parenting has been replaced by complacency and enabling. I see it every day in parents I know and the children they are responsible for. I am an advocate for ‘intentional parenting’ and I believe that I must look no further than myself and my own actions to determine what my kids will turn out to be. Mine is a work in progress…and will always be. Care to join me?