Thursday, 29 May 2014

I feel a bit like a shepherd some days

I feel a bit like a shepherd some days
29 May 2014

Some days I feel a little bit like a shepherd.  Or maybe just like his dog.

And as opposed to herding meek sheep (who have an alarming pattern of bundling together or alternatively standing in rows), I herd kids instead.

Recalcitrant kids at times.  Kids that don’t really want to go, where I am leading them.  Like school, for instance.

They can be obstinate and difficult, occasionally claiming that they refuse to budge.  They will NOT go for haircuts.  Or eat their veggies.  Go to the dentist.  Or go to bed.

Waste.  Of.  Breath.

Cause I’m the shepherd.  And I need to lead my flock of three.

I’m thinking that if the shepherd ever let his rather sizable flock see, that they actually outnumber him and could intimidate him, he’d be lost.  And thus, he soldiers on.  Blustering at times.  Willing them to go, where HE has decided they should go.  And somehow it works, because he makes them believe that he could.  Yes – sheep.  They believe him.  Sounds crazy, I know!

The added advantage that he’s got, is that he can see the end game.  Knows exactly where they’re headed too (so occasionally, it’s the dinner table, but still).  He sees the bigger picture.

And in this exact same manner, parenting children is very much the same.

My kids outnumber me.  Age wise, collectively, they’re just four years younger than me.  Physically Luke is bigger than me. 

But I lead the pack.  Cause I know where we’re heading.  It also helps that I’m the one with the car.  The wallet.  And the cooking skills.

So just yesterday, I was driving to go and fetch Amber from dancing, and all the way back, I kept on saying to her that something felt wrong.  I had the unsettling feeling that I’d left one of my flock somewhere.  That I’d forgotten about a kid.  I could almost picture one of my boys standing somewhere, looking rather forlorn and lost.  Waiting for me to pick them up.

Even though, I knew that they were both safely at home.  What a strange feeling.

At times I juggle a lot of balls, and dash around fetching kids from various activities at various times, before driving them to even more activities.  Some afternoons can find two kids doing hockey, one kid doing gym, one at dancing, one at extra maths, and one at drumming.  And there is only three of them!  It’s like I have a spreadsheet open in my head permanently.  Pick up kid A at place B by time C, before fetching kid D at place E, then dropping them off at place F, remember to fetch kid G again by time H and drop them off at place I, then collect kid J from place K before taking them to place L, stopping along the way to collect kid M once more, before heading home for a brief stop, before leaving to fetch kid N from place O, before time P.

It’s very, very, very busy.  But most days, I like my flock.  And I’m happy to shepherd them.

Though, on the odd occasion, when they’re particularly difficult, I must confess to fantasizing about serving my sheep on the dinner table, with a dash of mint on the side. ;-)

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