What the Shadows Took

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Parenting is not easy. Laura Markham said, “The truth is, parenting as well as we can is always hard – really, truly, the hardest thing any of us has ever done.” How about Ray Ramano’s idea on parenting? He says, “Having children is like living in a frat house: nobody sleeps, everything is broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” We think about what the shadows took, and we are forever grateful to be their parents, despite all the sleepless nights and challenging days.

None of us know how to be perfect parents, or even great ones in the beginning. We do our best and we learn as we go. If we are really fortunate, we have great examples to follow in our lives. Our parents or grandparents might even come out every now and then in words and in actions. We stick with it, every day, because we love our children more than anything else in this world. We let them be our shadows, and we don’t regret it. Some of us read parenting how-to books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting or in more recent years, follow along on apps to know what each milestone might bring. It all goes by so suddenly; let them be your shadows.

what the shadows took
Let them be your shadows

and while they’re by your side,

think of all the things they took.

They took a girl, or a boy, and made a mom or dad

a master of home and heart.

They took your time, every minute,

entranced you from the start.

They took your thoughts, stole every one

with little smiles and cuddles.

They took your life, rearranged it,

redefined the struggles.

They took the dreams you thought you had

and turned them into something new.

What power holds those little ones,

they recreated you.

They took a life that once was good

and filled it with so much magic,

that now you can’t imagine

how it was before you had it.

Watch those shadows as they dance,

cherish them in your presence,

and really take a look.

For life is not about a balance,

it’s about what the shadows took.

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