Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Take my word for it: Your kids are the world

From page A4 | March 27, 2013 | 3 Comments

I received a video in a text from my wife. In it, my 4-year-old daughter tried to get my 18-month-old daughter to say “Grandma and Grandpa” phonetically and accurately. When she nailed it, my wife and eldest daughter cheered. It was a small, but important victory for a kid learning new words every day, and whose actual Grandma and Grandpa will be flying into town for a visit this upcoming Friday.

The video ended with my eldest putting up the sign language version of “I love you” with both hands and shouting, “Double love you!” It’s the first time I’ve seen her do that and it made me laugh out loud.

It was just what I needed to get my day started. Then I saw a Facebook post of a friend of mine on my news feed that brought me back down to earth.

His post, from the night before, said the following: “Called 911 on a couple this morning. They were pushing and screaming at each other while a baby in a stroller was two feet away from the busy street. After a full day, I still feel sick thinking about the problems that child will have in life because of her parents.”

I often forget that for many, parenting isn’t seen as a gift or a blessing, and it makes me sad. Now I’m not one to judge right off the bat. Couples fight, I get it, and it’s really hard not to argue in front of the kids, even though we all should try to make that the goal. But in public, while possibly putting your kids in danger because of it? That’s just ridiculous, and like my friend stated, simply an example of the possible many struggles that kid will have to encounter for years to come.

I was lucky. Growing up I had a great family structure. To this day we all — siblings and parents — still get together to talk about our lives around a table with laughs, tears, hugs and yes, sometimes beer. Some kids won’t ever experience the love I was given. It’s my job to make sure my kids do.

And so I work at it, with my wife, on a daily basis. It’s not easy, trust me. Just read my friend’s other post that day as an example: “When your child is sick, life is utter chaos. Schedules go out the window. Appointments are made and then changed. Work appointments are changed and then unmade. Parents get stressed out of their minds. Mix in the possibility of a sibling getting sick and/or parents catching the bug, and it is not fun. Advice for those thinking about having children and wanting to keep any sort of independence — do not have children!”

He was joking, by the way. He and his wife are great parents, and like me, he’s often telling people how lucky he is to have landed such a great family.

But his emotions are valid. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Life comes to a screeching halt with kids. Your plans go out the window. Your life becomes theirs, and whatever they need is your top — or only — priority. While I envy people without kids who go out every weekend, or who plan a spur of the moment vacation to the beach, I remember that I have something that many pray they one day can — and some never will. It’ll take a little more time, planning and money for me to make it to that same beach, but when I do, I’ll get to watch my youngest run up to the water, feel it cold on her feet and run back to us screaming with glee. I’ll get to watch my eldest build a sand castle better than I can nowadays, and marvel at her imagination as she tells me the story of the families living within it.

We tried to take our own family photo last weekend with a tripod and the four of us in a park. We failed miserably. Every time I got up to set the timer, my 18-month-old broke her pose to get up and follow. I had 10 seconds to sit us all down and hope all four of us were looking at the camera, smiling and not blinking. After about 50 tries, and lots of whining, we went home to look at the photos on a bigger screen. There were actually a couple of perfect poses by us all! Sadly, after all of that, the shadows from branches of the tree covered half of our faces in every photo. It made every one virtually unusable, and there was no way we were taking those cranky kids back out to try again.

I laugh today at the memory. Every little thing is such a challenge with kids, but if you see it as an adventure, one you’re lucky to be on, you can have the time of your life.

So cherish your kids. They are not here by accident, no matter how they actually arrived on the scene. They are your present and future, and will be what you leave as your legacy when you’re gone. In a nutshell, your kids are the world.

Patrick Ibarra is the managing editor of the Mountain Democrat. 

Patrick Ibarra


Discussion | 3 comments

  • Brandon SchutMarch 26, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    Well done!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PamMarch 27, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    Children are the most wonderful gift any family could ever receive. Love them with all your heart and cherish them for all of your life.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • francescaduchamp@att.netMarch 27, 2013 - 9:18 pm

    Nice article...What I do in my life, at this point in time, I do for my grandson. Not only for his future...but for his "childhood" now. He has many years to be an adult and so few to be a kid--I want him to have a happy one. I just watched several hours of baseball practice--where the boys and coaches were having fun--laughing and learning the game. People bonding and learning sportsmanship. Boys being boys--no matter how old.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


No quick fix for California’s highways

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3



My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4




By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments



Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7



4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5



Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2



Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate



Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8