Whenever You Feel Down, Think of The Wonder

No question, this job is hard. It’s exhausting. It’s demoralizing. It’s challenging. There’s probably something wrong with you (or your parenting) if you never doubt yourself, never question how it’s going, never dream of a break (or at least a chance to scream cathartically into the void like those parents in Boston).

But when you feel down, remember this advice from Johnny Gunther’s mother. It comes at the end of the beautiful and must-read memoir, Death Be Not Proud, which is about her young son’s battle with a brain tumor:

Today, when I see parents impatient or tired or bored with their children, I wish I could say to them, But they are alive, think of the wonder of that! They may be a care and a burden, but think, they are alive! You can touch them—what a miracle! You don’t have to hold back sudden tears when you see just a headline about the Yale-Harvard game because you know your boy will never see the Yale-Harvard game, never see the house in Paris he was born in, never bring home his girl, and you will not hand down your jewels to his bride and will have no grandchildren to play with and spoil. Your sons and daughters are alive. Think of that—not dead but alive! Exult and sing.

No matter what you’re going through right now this holds true. If they’re failing school…or just accepted to a school you cannot afford, if they’re not sleeping through the night or keeping you up all night breaking curfew…they are alive. No matter how difficult they are or how overwhelmed you are, in a sense it is good news: You have them. Think of the wonder of that!

Don’t take it for granted. Don’t despair. On the contrary, exult and sing. It helps more than screaming.

You can pick up a copy of Death Be Not Proud at Ryan’s bookshop The Painted Porch and support indie retail by picking it up online too!

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