Observations on the rollercoaster ride that is parenting

good help is hard to keep

Dillon resigned as my illustrator the other day.  He said he was retiring, getting out of the game… or something like that. He’d gone through about 5 pages of illustrations, and the mood suddenly left him. He was tired of carrying the weight of the team…now I’ll have to farm it out somehow. It’s a shame, because they were good pictures too… he translated the activities in the story perfectly and caught the main focus in each section with his renderings. Where am I going to find another illustrator that can bring my words to life like he did? and one who will work for snickerdoodles and pez? Dang child labor laws. Alas, another talent burnt out at an early age.

One of the many blessings of having kids in ages from toddler to teenager is having the ever-present reminder that “Dad’s Little Helper”, while a highly prestigious and sought after position early on, quickly becomes the job no one wants to take or hold for very long as the kids grow older. Logan was fantastic as an assistant bicycle mechanic. He was an expert seed thrower and jr. landscape artist. But now… the other day, I asked him to sweep the front walkway because we had people coming over and everyone was tasked with something to help out; he obliged, but I believe the word he used was “exploitation”, or some derivative thereof.

Jaden spent about 20 minutes washing dishes the other day. Both he and Dillon rush to help me pull weeds, hang pictures, fix chairs, and change AC filters. Ethan loves to help empty the dishwasher and help sweep. Dillon and Jaden used to help me make pancakes almost every weekend. Now they just help out every now and then. They’ve passed a lot of the pancake helper opportunities down to Ethan, who is a permanent fixture in the kitchen when I’m making pancakes or when Kendra is baking anything. He is in full blown “Little Helper” mode and is trying to climb that corporate ladder as quickly as his little Pumas will take him. The twins have reached the executive office level and feel like they need to start branching out. They do enjoy being BBQ/Grilling assistants though… I think it’s the lure of the fire. The danger factor plays well with them. They are looking forward to helping me take the Tiger Saw to the Christmas tree.

Yep, these days just fly… I document these things not to brag, but as evidence that these times did indeed exist, because in a few years it may not seem even remotely possible… but also to remind myself not to be impatient or get frustrated by the “help” that I receive, because the help won’t last long. My jr. executives will venture on just as the previous administration did. Ethan will ascend to the high ranks and shortly afterwards, he too will depart. So, it isn’t just the loss of my illustrator, but the eventual vacancies that will exist in all the helper categories that make me want to appreciate every one of the little things they do today.

Thanks for coming along for the ride…


  1. January 14, 2010    

    “I document these things not to brag, but as evidence that these times did indeed exist, because in a few years it may not seem even remotely possible.” Loves.Sounds like you run a tight ship.

  2. Heather Heather
    March 21, 2010    

    Brady will work for hot dogs & milkshakes.

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