A Parent’s Job: A parent’s job is, ultimately, not to protect their kids from pain, though of course we try to do so desperately and of course we grieve the failures. But no, pain is inevitable. Our job isn’t to help them avoid it at all costs; our job is to help them move toward it, walk through it, and, if they invite us, to be with them in it. Our job is to remind them: pain is like a really good mirror—when you face into it, you get to see who you are, what you’re made of, and why you’re here. So, I watch my daughter take in what her brother has said. I watch her confident face get a little more joyful. And his reminder to her becomes a reminder to me of what she did as we left that back-to-school orientation three days earlier… We’re walking out of the school with a crowd of now also empty-handed parents, when she begins putting her thoughts into song, as she so often does. And in a beautiful, cracking, lilting, childlike falsetto, she declares, with her arms wide open, “This is my world. This is my world. This, is my world.” Yep. That’s our job. To remind our kids, regardless of the pain, regardless of the mess, regardless of what anyone does or does not do to you, this is your world. You can be fully in it, you can be fully you, and you can embrace it. With arms wide open. And, when we forget, it’s our job to let our kids remind us.