Parenting is not for the faint of heart.
There are hundreds of thousands of pages written on how to parent, from the famed Dr. Spock, to the “What To Expect…” book series. Then there are the television segments with pediatricians who tout the latest and greatest expert methods of surviving childhood like Ferberizing and 1, 2, 3 Magic.
But what got us through this journey were our friends, all of them. They were really the only experts we needed and they were at our side when we failed and when we succeeded.
We can’t thank them enough, but we can try.
Here’s to the friend who sat with us in the throes of the post-partum haze and patiently wiped away our tears.
Here’s to the friend who called every morning to a boring litany of how many hours the baby slept or didn’t the previous night.
Here’s to the friend who saw that we were not capable of listening to one more second of baby fussing and took our infant out of our hands to give us a momentary reprieve.
Here’s to the friend who like a circus performer cushioned our toddler’s fall even though they were holding one of their own.
Here’s to the friend who stepped up in third grade when we missed the memo about parents needing to be at school and covered for us so seamlessly that the kid almost didn’t realize mom was a no-show.
Here’s to the friend who, as we lay sick in bed, gave our kids dinner, entertained them and delivered them home fed, clean and ready for bed.
Here’s to the friend who took our feverish, cranky child to the pediatrician while we were out of town.
Here’s to the friend who sat and froze with us on the sidelines and rooted for our teen athlete with every bit as much mania as they rooted for their own.
Here’s to the friend who listened to us throw our spouses and children under the bus, and didn’t hold it against them or us, because they understood that no matter how we rail against them, our family is our everything.
Here’s to the friend who without the slightest hesitation gave us the names of all of their favorite tutors, doctors and therapists.
Here’s to the friend, who assured us to the sound of our heaving sobs that the, “terrifyingly reckless beyond all imagining” thing our teen just did was not as aberrant as it seemed.
Here’s to the friend who shrieked with genuine, ear-shattering joy when our child got into their dream school.
Here’s to the friend who watched our child graduate and knew that his absence would leave almost as big a hole in their lives as it would in ours.
Thank you doesn’t cover it because sometimes words are not enough.
Just know that we couldn’t have done this without you and we wouldn’t have wanted to.