Improvised Explosive Device commonly known as IEDs. IEDs are a feared device by many military members. Especially if your job is running convoys and you know each time you head out the potential to hit one on your way could happen. And although our children’s temperament is not deadly, it can certainly cause harm (at least emotional) during different life situations.
When I was deployed to Afghanistan my job was not a typical Air Force job. While most Air Force jobs don’t even allow you to leave the base unless it is by air travel, my job was to go and deal directly with the people of Afghanistan. On at least a weekly basis we would go off base, what military members refer to as outside the wire. Our missions in the northern part of Kapisa were relatively safe, but heading South or West meant we went to less friendly neighborhoods.
Never Hit by an IED
Often to avoid danger we would travel at night or take long detours to avoid areas of concern. My team was never hit by an IED, but I was in one fire-fight. In my training, I was prepared for both experiences.
A lot of time was put into how to learn how to spot IEDs. One of the ways enemy forces marked IEDs was to stack rocks together. I never noticed how many formations of stacked rocks were in America until I got home. They are often trail markers or just random rocks stacked together and they always make me stop. And I doubt I pass by one unaware of its presence. Oh, and for the record they are all over Afghanistan too and so you can’t stop every time you see one to investigate or you wouldn’t ever get to where you are going. That is why they are a great maker to use. They are so common-place that they can go unnoticed. The military tries to prepare you, but real life is hardly as easy to navigate as the practice makes it out to be.
It seems like I have similar issues for parenting. I read a lot of books and I try to help my son when different roadblocks come up. And maybe for the first few minutes of trying to be patient and calm I actually am, but when I can’t seem to get a handle on it and things are not going the way the book says. I get frustrated. I’m learning to walk away and take a break. But sometimes I forget this step and my temper gets the better of me and I have to turn and say “I’m sorry”.
I’m also learning that parenting doesn’t have a quick fix. There are so many different types of kids and different situations. There is no one fix-all for all my parenting problems. But just like with what seems like an impossible situation of finding IEDs, I’m not giving up.
I will keep working to learn more about myself and how to become a better parent. Now I realize now how much harder parenting is than I ever realized and I know as my son gets older the problems he will be facing will require more guidance and less correcting. I hope I can find the balance and become the best parent I can be.