Being a parent is no doubt the most difficult job in the world. Yet millions of us embark on this journey with no experience at first, little to no training, no manual, and a boss that is much younger than us, and also has no experience being a boss.
When we were kids we challenged our parents everyday. Sometimes the challenge was willing them to allow us to eat a Popsicle even thought we didn't eat our dinner. Other times the challenges were much more difficult and demanding.
When I was 18 or 19 I took a fly-fishing class during summer vacation with a dear friend of mine. We loved it because:
a) we are women
b)the instructors were older and men
c)the instructors liked us because we showed up to every class and every day at the water
d)we fished with the instructors as extra-curricular activities and finally,
e) we learned how to smoke cigars.
(Warning: Cliche coming)Shortly after this learning experience we decided we were going to take a two week vacation across the country to Montana to "fish the great rivers" a la Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. Our parents were skeptical and hesitant. We didn't really have a plan because we didn't know how much we could/wanted to drive each day. But we knew we wanted to drive Route 2 on the Northern edge of the state and fish The Blackfoot River. We made a rough itinerary and reassured them that we would call several times. Keep in mind we were 20 when we took this trip. Long story short; our parents finally accepted we were going to do this with or without their consent. We made it to our destination and back. Had a great time and would do it again tomorrow, and never caught a single fish but have ooodles of great memories.
Today our trip is little bits compared to the teenager who is attempting to sail around the world ALONE. She is 16. Yesterday news reports said she had lost contact and feared dead. Her parents worst nightmare coming true. I can only imagine them second guessing their decision to let her attempt this feat even though she had all of the training, will, smarts, gear, etc. needed to accomplish this incredible journey. Today reports state that she is alive and well. Her boat is damaged a bit but still sea worthy.
Like I said parenting is the most difficult job in the world. For my parents it was trusting me enough to drive across the country, for the California teens parents, it was trusting their daughter could sail around the world, for us, now, it's trusting that our daughter won't fall down the stairs on the deck. None of it easy but part of our job description.