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Re-elect Cindy Carter Grant County Commissioner

By Jesse Utz 

The joys of parenthood


When you’re surrounded by kids for most of the day, sometimes you reflect on parenting skills: your own and others’. I also have many friends, who are young parents themselves, who come to me on occasion for advice or to just tell me their story of the week. But some recent events have gotten me thinking even more.

Whenever a bunch of fathers get together, the subject always seems to somehow, someway come back to poop. A diaper expulsion, a bath-time floater or crib full of brown artwork are just some of the examples of the sometimes gag-worthy themes that we speak about when gathered at a poker game, at Siam or just hanging out at work. Poop happens. We all know that, but sometimes you just have to share your frustrations and get them off your chest and out of your mind. So the next time you see a group of fathers seated around a table at a local restaurant, be warned before you approach them. I’m just saying.

Over the weekend, I got to go to a little baby shower. Jesse and Nesha Billups are expecting, and we gathered around with loved ones to support and love on them a little more as they prepare for the arrival of Cairo. It was a blessed time. I can see an awesome set of parents coming in the two of them, and they are surrounded by awesome parents who all have raised or are raising some spectacular children themselves. When this kid comes, there will be a whirlwind of support and guidance around him always. And the cool kid things now are mind boggling. Bottle dryers that look like grass, baby cams that look like they are for high-profile spies, bib bandanas, portable swings and playpens (light ones, at that), and the list goes on and on. I remember when I was a baby (well, I was told), my parents putting the huge 70s-style headphones on me, laying me down on the living room floor, and soothing me to sleep with Steppenwolf and 3 Dog Night. No wonder I love music. And sometimes parents have just got to do what they’ve got to do.

It can be hard being a parent. The balance between spoiling and teaching can be blurry and skewed at time: Are we doing the right thing? What worked for my first child does not work for my second one. It goes on and on. It took me a long time to realize that our kids are individuals. Even at a very young age, they are being their own person and developing personalities and seeing what works and what doesn’t to get what they want. Then something amazing happens over a very short period of time: they become adults.

It is one of the most amazing things to watch, feel and be a part of — your child, your baby, functioning as a full-grown man or woman, making adult decisions, having mature conversations and even being more mature than you sometimes in life’s special moments. It is an awe-inspiring thing.

The joys of parenting. It goes from poop to school to heartbreaks to discipline to weddings and babies. Then it starts again. My hat goes off to all you parents out there. Even in the midst of a diaper full of “Oh my gosh, when did he eat that?” you are full of love, joy and pride. Keep on doing what you’re doing; it will pay off one day — when your adult child calls you and just asks to hang out.

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