I love zombie shows.
As a teen I watched George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie. I was hooked.
Something about those stories connect with me. I do not subscribe to the notion of a coming zombie apocalypse, I am not a prepper, and I do not have a stockpile of crossbows, guns and knives.
But I connect with the raw notion of survival. Preservation of life. My life. And my kid’s life.
Sticking with the post-apocalyptic theme, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road tells a powerful tale of a father’s deep drive to protect his son. Survival.
Life as a single dad triggers the survival gene. We want to protect our kids, and we also want to survive the sometimes-overwhelming experience.
I have a mentoring relationship with a tremendous man of faith and encouragement. During one of our meetings, he declared to me his desire to see me thrive. The word hung in the air. Thrive.
Thrive: grow or develop well, prosper, flourish.
It had been easy for me to accept words of consolation for single parenting. I let those words put me in a mindset of survival.
My mentor called me to thrive.
The late Maya Angelou said this: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Parenting – single or not – takes each of those…especially humor.
How do we pivot from surviving to thriving?
Do not live in fear. Instead teach our kids about growing up, about what it means to be a man or woman, about responsibility, and about making smart choices. I know I have made enough mistakes to teach and impart wisdom from experience.
Take the time to reflect on your parenting style – do you operate out of survival? Do you consider the day a success if you did not experience any casualties – even if no one is growing or flourishing? Sometimes we parent just to get to the next safe harbor and wait for the zombies to catch up with us.
I have been there. More times than I want to admit.
So, today, I remind you and me to inject some passion, some humor, and some grace into our parenting. Let’s thrive!
What parts of parenting feel more like surviving than thriving?