Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I see that you’ve grown over night. Your face is more defined, your eyes look older. A part of me is excited and in awe; I know you have so much ahead of you. Another part is scared because time is racing and I can’t slow it down. I’m afraid that I haven’t always been awake and noticing, and that somehow I have slept through the magic of your growing. I wonder, have I enjoyed you enough? Have I given you what you needed? Is your heart still whole? Is your spirit unbroken?
I’m not always good at this. I’m not always as good as I want to be at being your mom. I want to be great; and sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m not.
Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.
Sometimes I do it right, and sometimes I completely miss it.
Everyday I make mistakes.
Recently I went to a sports bar/pizza place for a friend’s birthday. There was sawdust on the floor, peanuts, and initials carved into the table. I thought, you know who belongs here?
I was right. A week later we brought them. We got a paper tray full of peanuts and my husband instructed everyone that their shells were to be thrown on the floor. I guard the carpet under our kitchen table like a prison warden, so my seven-year-old’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas. His shrill, villainous, laughter could be heard across the bar as he plowed through peanuts just so he could throw the shells to the ground. Graham busted out his pocket knife and my nine-year-old set to work on the table with the prowess of a young Michelangelo.
We are such good parents.
I remember back when I was a perfect parent. It was around the same time I thought that parachute pants were an excellent fashion choice. It was also when I was going to save the last dance with Sean Patrick Lewis and have his perfect babies.
Did I mention I was not yet a mother?
No one told me that you have to do all that “perfect” parenting at the same time as children are yelling, shrieking, and jumping naked on your couch cushions that you fluff up 5,000 times a day.
They are just so loud you guys.
I sat down and mapped out a life plan, and so far it looks like I will be late for approximately 15 more years.
I’m so excited about my newest post for Motherly, because, FOR REALZZZ.
Mornings before kids:
1. Get self ready.
2. Get self in car.
1. Wake up children.
2. Go to the kitchen to start breakfast.
3. Hear no noise from children.
4. Holler at children every 30 seconds.
5. All appear, except one. Your future seems bright, you keep hollering.
6. You hear last child thrashing and grunting violently. This is the worst moment of his life.
7. Child finally emerges. It is unclear if he is human or zombie.
8. Child sits on couch.
9. Child becomes one with the couch.
10. You call frantically to them while making eggs: “Shoes!” “Hair!” “Clothes!”
11. Child stares into space.
Read more at Motherly…
Yesterday at Target I stood in line behind a Mom with two screaming kids. One clung to her leg while the other, a brand new baby, wailed from her arms.
I am not used to being the one who is not the parent of the screaming child. This was uncharted territory.
While usually we are being quaint and adorable like a live Norman Rockwell painting, there are a few other things that get us from WHYGODWHY in the morning to Netflix-O’clock at night.
We clean things so they can be destroyed right exactly before you drop by. I don’t mean to brag, but my kids are capable of making my house a major health code violation in ten seconds flat. Sometimes I think about posting pictures of what my house looks like when it’s clean – just for reference.
Welcome to my home. Here is a picture of what my house looked like one time last week. It could also look like this more often if I had 47 maids and manservants.
This weekend I got to experience magic. One of my best friends invited me and a few others to be there for the birth of her first baby. I’ve never seen birth – except my own.
It was magic. Birth is magic. It is terrible, it is messy, and it is brilliant. After 24 hours of hard labor and zero results, my friend had gotten a epidural. She cracked jokes as she nibbled graham crackers between pushing contractions. What a bad ass. She was so strong and so powerful…I have never seen her so beautiful. Her husband stroked her head and held her hand as she used all her strength to bring new life into the world.
When we first got married I was so excited to do EVERYTHING together. I couldn’t wait. I worked at a coffee shop and I told a friend of mine that I was even going to start working with Graham (as a self-employed window washer). “This is a terrible idea.” he said.
I’m not sure if it was my inability to clean things, or the fact that I wanted to spend 24 hours a day with only one person that tipped him off.
Sometimes I teach my kids things that I did not intend to teach them. Sometimes this is an extra bonus, like when I accidentally taught my oldest child to be extremely bossy. I pretend to hate this, but really it’s like getting a third parent for free.
I’m half-heartedly retraining him to be a child.
It is completely not working.
Yesterday we took Oaklee to her first day of Kindergarten. I had been thinking for weeks about that day. I had been thinking about her zest for life, her joy, and her silliness. I had been thinking about her incredibly pure and kind heart.
She is such a treasure, as all kids are.