As a writer and parent, I am sure this thought isn’t anything brand new. Parenting seems a lot like a banking system. Some of our actions, our children’s actions– some days, some moments, seem to fill our accounts and our children’s. Other days, its total withdrawals and a depleted account for everyone. While still other days, we are asking the bank manager (ourselves, our partners, our best friends, our buddies) what things mean for both our children and ourselves.
Let me look back on the week. Last weekend, I returned home from an all day Girl Scout event with our girls. I walked into an incredibly funny sight. Boy wonder and chief mischief maker had a painted camouflage face, from an event at the awesome Iroquois Wildlife Refuge. He looked like a Lilliputian turkey hunter! Add major deposits in the chuckle, LOL category. There he was, my husband’s mini me, eating a plate full of cauliflower, with a green “camo” face. -Interest earned for walking into this funny scene!
Two tired girls and the parenting equivalent of a root canal- a large bedtime meltdown, ensued. This was a major downer and debit. Withdraw some big reserves, as evening becomes night.
More meltdowns and fatigue among the weekend warriors on Sunday morning, debit, debit, debit. Exacting consequences (lessons) so we thought, some substantial deposits. The mister and I losing some couple time for two children on lockdown, withdraw, withdraw. -Taking one for the sake of the team (saying and doing what we mean), deposit.
So the week goes on. As two young ladies do their best to look like “law abiding citizens” before the parole board (calm and appropriate behavior on the home front), we add some more deposits. There seem to be great signs of recidivism. I find two reminders that the girls created for themselves, outlining rules to live by. Caching! I am planning what the segment for our family will look like on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” But, take some big hits to the account with toddler meltdown of the extreme kind, school morning fashion drama, and a certain amount of “bad attitude” that seeped in midweek. My account ledger is looking unbalanced and a little hard to figure out. But then I hand it over to my parents to see if theirs looks the same. They report that theirs has evened out for the most part. It only took the better part of their children’s thirties.
This parenting stuff is messy accounting! We all strive for moments and days of deposits and interest earned, compared to withdraws and “tacked on charges.” While some debits and withdraws are out of our control and are a result of children’s choices and actions, we are often allowed to choose the type of banker we wish to be. –Wishing you, my fellow parent, if you wish for me in return, the discernment and wisdom to be a great “financier!” If our homes are our banks, what kind of bank is yours? With some hard effort and perhaps a little luck, may ours all be strong and may our ledgers balance…