Parenting Blog

What parenting sounds like

On Wednesday night of this week, it sounded like the bitterness of a family failing to click into its usual place. Parenting was deafening in its silent brooding.

Last month, parenting sounded sweeter — confident steps forward on well-worn stone. Last month, in Barcelona, this is what parenting sounded like.

what parenting sounds like barcelona

A child, a precocious young woman with her hand on the knob ready to turn it to 11, decides, as suddenly as a gothic quarter alleyway bends to once again put the toothpicks of a tapas bar and the glass domed case of another gelato shop square in your path, that she will someday open a restaurant. This is new. Go on.

Parenting sounds like that child dreaming loudly, a foreign voice bouncing off new graffiti on ancient walls.

Parenting sounds like the sarcastic words I don’t dare use as I walk beside her, slowing my gait to stick by her side.

Parenting sounds like the questions I do ask, not to fog her crystal ball but to encourage a deeper dive into some of the big ideas she’s espousing as we go downhill in search of lunch and the beach.

It’s daring, darling. No doubt. You’d be pushing an envelope off a cliff, and I applaud the audacity on principle, but might a dedicated vegetarian crowd cringe at an occasional meat special? Would a prospective meat eating dinner guest even know when to expect that special dish? Ack, a separate kitchen surface for the rarely offered non-vegetarian food? A distinct set of pots and pans? Is that economically feasible for an occasional menu item or two? Can you serve two masters with the proficiency needed to survive a challenging industry?

Parenting sounds like the chin rub and the pin-drop from a tween girl as she ponders these potential hurdles.

Parenting sounds like muscles responding to the dream being massaging, the kinks being worked out, the body becoming more pliable to run the long race.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post Jeff! I love the grafitti of Barcelona- the mix of those classic buildings with the incredible energy of the graffitti. Which is similar to the dance you describe of old and new, wanting to encourage your child and not poke holes in their idea while at the same time saying, “Wait! You haven’t thought it all the way through!” My son is 9, and I am in that dance all the live long day, although sometimes it’s about algebra, and other times about Pokemon the game.

  2. Yet another amazing journey from you Mr. Bogle. This is a prime example of what I love about your writing. It has a purpose… characters… direction…yet, it can apply to anyone, and mean whatever they need it to mean to them, in that moment. That’s brilliance.

  3. Thank you, man. Your kind words mean a ton to me. I don’t always know what I’m doing as a parent but it helps to know great dads/great ‘triers’/great writers are out there to read my thoughts about it and to join me on this journey.

  4. I love the way you put that, Adam – classic buildings with the new energy! YES!

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