So I'm a parent. Some of you are too. It's not easy - though it is easy to feel inadequate/incapable/dumb/frustrated etc. as you try to not screw up your kids. Fortunately, a quick trip to someplace like Wal-Mart is usually enough to remind me that we're doing pretty ok, comparatively speaking.
That said, it's easy to forget that common sense is one of the best parenting tools we have. Want your kid not to sample medicines on their own? Put them out of reach. Basic stuff. When I was writing about the Dominican Republic yesterday, I remembered yet another gem of a moment. My friend Idalia was cooking in her dirt-floor hut, and I stood in the doorway chatting. Her not-yet walking baby, about 10-12 months old, was sitting up on a goat-skin chair. The chair was straight backed and without arms. I kept glancing over, nervous as the baby squirmed. Finally I asked Idalia, "Aren't you afraid she's going to fall off?" Idalia's response? "She did. Once."
Common sense - even babies have it. I have to remind myself of it for my own sanity and that of my family. Its so easy and natural for me to complicate things. Surely if its simple, its not right?! So on this Mother's Day weekend, lets all try to remember that whether parenting or just living, common sense probably deserves more credit and attention than it gets.
And also, if you're not sure, common sense dictates that moms like presents on Mother's Day. Just sayin'.