This missive serves as a formal thank-you note to the parenting warriors I know. And no, you do not need to be a parent in order to be named a parenting warrior.
All of us wear, as a public front, the results of our parenting. So if I directed you here I was informed by you and your actions as to my own parenting choices. I likely talked about you with Daughter in the form of "There is this really cool person I met from a food thing/school thing/random thing (including the internet)...this is their story or why they are cool". And some of you I know more intimately than that but I might not have directly named you in my story telling.
The internet allows me to mask identities with Daughter if I have intimate knowledge of something and I was to pass along a great story but not reveal true identity. More often than not I have chosen to share stories of action rather than stories of identity so I guess that means I've fully rejected most notions of idolatry .Which also happens to make me a really great atheist, eh?
There are tumultuous times as parents. Birth. Toddler. Preschool/early school. Grade 6 (for estrogen heavy children especially). And then, finally, the holy grail of parenting: Teenagehood. A last childhood stage that hopefully finales with a goal towards further education (formal or otherwise) and intelligent voting (I'm not joking).
Daughter moved away to university yesterday. She and I both entered a whole new world. One where my role as a parent will have shifted away from one thing to another. And, according the to the God (Dr.) Seuss : Ah, yes of course. Thing 2 would like to clarify that just because he wears the number 2 does not imply in any way that he's inferior to Thing 1.
And like everything else in this world, when life is tumultuous one tends to turn to others in order to support and inform. And sometimes literally carry you (extra long hat tip here to The Parents, luckily both still alive and healthyish).
So whether or not you knew it, if I've directed you here then you were part of my own personal strongly social media infused Information and Support Team: Parenting Branch. (Brief Aside to an interesting fact. I first went online in 1993 seeking out parenting support after a devastating miscarriage. This makes me an original netizen).
You were the people on whose backs I often trod. And most of you know I'm kind of addicted to learning so many of you were just plain teachers. But the best kind of plain teacher is the one that you actually learn from. So thank-you for teaching me even if you had no idea I used you for my parenting role model (especially if you are not a parent lol).
Parenting was the biggest challenge I ever took on and I had heaps and heaps of learning to do on the subject since I was not part of any large familial structure as a first generation Canadian. An extremely grateful Canadian, now.
Some of you I do not or can not name because our interactions were so brief I failed to obtain a name. And some of you I do not name because you do not getz the social media internetz thang (remember, I am 45, GenX - we GASP wrote snail mail in our youth and many of us still do...not me though lol). But I might actually snail mail a few of those sorts of characters. And, of course in the age of social media, some of you I name, but do not know face to face since we have never actually met. And sadly, there is one dear friend who I especially wish to thank but she recently passed on. She was, ultimately, a fatal victim to her own childhood demons.
Memory, being what it is, will forget some. And memory, being what it is, will enlarge some.
Be that as it were, I now attempt to name you here via various sorts of social media avenues including good 'old fashioned' email. Because, you see, in the land of social media I can now name my not-necessarily-blood-related-clan. And not only name you but sometimes to also publicly thank-you, without a face-to-face ceremony. And ceremonies traditionally employ food and it just so happens that I've broken bread with most of you. And much of it good healthy AND tasty food at that :)
I am transitioning to stage II parenting now. And I certainly feel a ceremony should occur. So this is mine.
My transitioning parent ceremony will occur over the course of the entire month of September and I will attempt to blog here regularly about my reflections on parenting as I drive across Canada from Vancouver to St. John's along the Trans-Canada Highway. I'm also hoping to get a few cross Canada harvest food related stories up on my newish food themed blog (but not recipes: they are here).
Namaste and again, thank-you. Go forth and multiply the intelligent and humane sorts of folks that we are capable of creating. Be a seed, as it were. Plant yourself, flower and prosper.