anthonyuu.wordpress.comMany people I know–professionally, personally, virtually–are sending kids off to college or back to school or into the educational system for the first time. Many of the conversations I’m having, and the social network posts I’m seeing, have to do with transitions and saying goodbye and moving forward.

One of my Facebook friends (who also happens to be a former high school classmate with  a noteworthy social network presence) recently posted that it was “perfection” in her world because “her babies are in happy places.” (If she’s reading this, she knows who she is).

This hit home because her sentiment conveys the very essence of what parenthood means to me, and it’s a big part of what makes being a parent so great…and so difficult.

When your “baby or babies,” however old he or she or they may be, are in good places, then you are in an even better place. Because their happiness magnifies your own tenfold. However, if your babies happen to be in a not-so-good place, well, of course, the converse is true, too.

But what’s so amazing to me is that anybody’s happiness or sadness can obscure my own and become more important. This holds true for a spouse or partner, too, but even that is not the same.

Our children allow us to live again from the beginning and experience the joys and sadness and ups and downs of life through a new and different lens. We are even more engaged because the stakes are even higher. We’ve brought them into the world, or are raising them in it, so we are partially responsible for the outcome.

I’m so grateful that I have the privilege of being a parent. And if I could choose my children from a catalog (Ha! Library reference!), then I would have selected the three that I’ve got at home, or at school, as the case may be. I am one lucky, happy parent. And that’s a great thing.