R and I have 13 weeks left until our little one is due and we are in week 3 of a parenting class. The content of the class is good (though clearly dated with 80s hairstyles, clothes, and technology) and our teachers are two wonderful, experienced moms. There are days the information seems a bit too basic (though I know from child development and child care that even the most basic can be extremely complicated on certain days). There are other days it sparks good conversation, both during class and when we get home.
Tonight we got to talking about children misbehaving in order to get attention. There were talks of children fighting or rebelling or whatever else kids do to seek attention. I know my siblings and I were not perfect children and I remember an occasional fight or two, but nothing outrageous or constant. And in not seeing our conflicts, I see less of our "perfection" and more that of my parents (no, mom and dad, I do not think you're perfect, but I do hold you in pretty high regard). I can guarantee you we would not have been the children we were (and hence not the adults we are) if it were not for our parents who are indeed stellar parents. Not just good people, but great parents. Meaning they parented well.
Tonight one of our teachers said, "there will be times when you just won't be able to get your child to do what you want, and you just have to accept it and move on." I couldn't help but think, "not in our house." (meaning mine growing up...I do not remember ever winning a battle/argument/whatever against my parents; I remember them getting us to do what they wanted, even if it meant soy sauce soup in the morning or reheating fish 7 times before finally eating it and being excused from the table). And I was immediately compelled to call my parents and ask what the most trying times were with us kids.
I haven't called. I may tonight or sometime tomorrow after they've had a chance to read this (though hopefully not comment on anything too awful). I am also inclined to ask my siblings (Hi Dave!) what their recollections are. Being the youngest, my recollection is often more short sighted than theirs (yes, I did just put that in writing!)
I am grateful for my parents and all that they did to raise us and to help us become who we are. And as I prepare for full-time parenthood (not just pregnancy), I can only hope and pray that would be half as good a parent as they were/are.