Writing became one of the most precious gifts to me at 8 years-old. To this day, it is my chosen mode of communicating.
This summer, a friend of mine invited me to be on a parent panel.
Yes, a parent panel.
I asked her if she was thinking of a different April or a different month but she assured me that I was indeed the person she was looking for.
When it comes to writing and talking about Middle School students, identity, belonging, and purpose, I feel adequate. I feel like I know what I'm talking about because I've spent the last 12 years completely immersed in these arenas, learning, growing, and soaking up any and every bit of information I can get so that I can be more equipped and empowered than I was prior to that information.
But parenting? Lord, help me.
And a panel? That would almost suggest that I 'know' something about the subject. Last time I checked, this girl was Googling what was the suggested amount of sleep for a kindergarten boy. And to be honest, I only looked it up so that I could feel a little less guilt over saying yes to watching one more Mickey Mouse cartoon on Disney+.
It's an honor to sit on this panel with two fellow parents and be interviewed by another parent (shoutout to Mariah, Sara, and Amber). As we sit around (or in our little squares on Zoom), there's a collective sigh of "you're figuring this all out, too? whew. I'm not alone in this."
That's a collective sigh that I hope is felt and heard throughout the waves of the internet and TV. Parenting is hard. Parenting in a pandemic is hard. Every human right now-whatever journey he or she is on, parent or not-needs to hear "I'm figuring this out, too." I'm hopeful that our stories or "how do I do this?" questions are connecting with others on similar journeys. That even our mistakes help another feel less alone or have greater compassion on himself/herself. The more spaces that we provide for other humans to have these exhales and collective sighs of relief, the richer and fuller our lives will be.
P.S. That one time has turned into a recurring time. Check out Studio 701 on KXMB at 9 am, Monday through Friday. Parent Panel airs on Tuesday mornings. Tune in for your collective sigh of relief.