Yes, I know it’s not November and bloggers are supposed to wait and give thanks only around Thanksgiving, but I’m going to break the rules just this once. I want to thank the Beaumont Parenting Program for bringing so many great people into my, and my family’s, life. We are truly better parents, and people for that matter, for having our group family in our lives.
It’s been more than seven years that a random group of families met and started to learn from all of the education the program provided. The speakers and topics were great, and even better was the social time we’d have together after the speakers finished. Someone would share a “Oh my gosh, little so and so did … ” moment, and was somehow relieved know that child wasn’t the only one doing something they deemed odd.
The power in numbers, peer-review aspect of the meetings offered a level of comfort we couldn’t find in any baby book. It still is truly a blessing to have our group family to bounce child-rearing issues off of, because if they haven’t gone through it, they soon will or they’ll know someone to reach out to for an answer or advice. On a selfish note, it’s nice to have a group of dads to hang out with when I need a break from Rainbow Loom parties and American Girl villages on our driveway.
So if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to give thanks for a few things.
I’m thankful for a group of people who don’t mind showing parenting isn’t easy, but show that if you stick to a set of values, you can raise a pretty great kid.
I’m thankful we were naïve enough to take a gaggle of 18-month olds camping and then replicating the trip when they were 7½ years old.
I’m thankful for two of our families moving to Europe. Miss them dearly but it’s always nice to know we have family to visit when we head across the pond.
I’m thankful for the chance to fly down Woodward in a real-life Hot Wheels car. Hey, we’re all kids at heart, right?
I’m thankful to know that life isn’t perfect. As a new parent (or even a husband or wife), you think everything needs to be just so, but it never is … and you learn that’s OK.
I’m thankful knowing we’ve been able to grow our family to include nearly everyone we started out with. No one knows where life will take you, but we know these folks will be a part of it somehow.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to write these blogs, especially this one, because it gives me an outlet to show how proud of my daughters I am and share a bit of knowledge I’ve learned over the years.
We didn’t pick these people who’ve affected our lives so much, and I’m thankful for that because we might have never picked them, but I’m glad someone did. Fate brought us together, and friendship has kept us together.
Oh, one more, I’m thankful you took the time to read this far.
– Jim Pesta is a Parenting Program participant and father of two girls.