As my 10-year-old and I cleared the last of the junk out of the dining room and admired our work, I thanked her for her help and let her know I couldn't have accomplished this task without her. As she looked up at me and smiled, I reminded myself I was just overreacting and that my kids don't really notice or care when the house is a mess.
You'll never believe what I'm doing this holiday season. I'm leaving my kids. Not entirely and not without first ensuring their proper care and happiness, of course. While my three kids and their father share a turkey and quality time with my husband's parents, I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving by sipping mint tea in Marrakech with an old friend who is also leaving her children to take this trip.
To somehow yoke the term parenting with the concept of an obstacle course of terrors seems somewhat frightening, and honestly an unlikely partnership of sorts. And yet, ironically, this description actually comes close to describing the profound mystery of parenting Americans are faced almost every day.