Skip to main content

The reality of being a parent is...

It's not nearly the experience you thought it would be.

There are moments of aching splendor, when you look around and think "Wow, this is what life is" and the whole world sparkles more brightly than noon-day sun.

There will be those times when you can't stand to look at another dirty diaper, another dirty floor, another load of laundry, another finger print on your just washed window, another toothbrush in the toilet, another child or husband or wife.

There will come a day when you realize that cleaning up when it happens is less effort than letting it dry/stain/set/settle.

You will make your bed, most days, even though you're just going to sleep in it again.  And you'll wish your child made his/hers too.

You will compromise most of the standards you set about "never letting my child do that."

You will yell louder and longer than you remember your parents ever did.

The first wrinkle will show up, right next to the gray hairs that sprouted, and you'll feel like you're getting old too soon.

You will realize your parents must have thought that too.

You will be uncool, unhuggable, unlikeable, unapproachable.  But that (pretty much) passes.

You will see more gross things than the people in medical school.

Sometimes laughter comes uncontrollably, piercing through all the emotions you've been holding in.

Eventually your kids will probably make a choice you don't like, go a way you can't go, grow up and change into fully formed free thinkers.

It hurts more than childbirth, more than death, more than free falling from the top of the stairs.  Because the pain is laced with joy and gratitude.

It doesn't turn on and off, it goes on 24/7/365, through the rising and setting of the moon and sun, through New Years and Reunions, through waking and dreams.

You wouldn't trade it, but you might do some parts over if only to take away that 'look' on their face.

It's a flash of time but also your whole life.

You can't remember, really, when it began and you hope it never ends.

There will be days when every fault and shortcoming is magnified by the minute.

And then come the days when you are perfect, if but a moment, because they love you.


Comments

Heather said…
Wow. Fabulous. You should really publish a little parenting memoir... you're good at this writing stuff.

Popular posts from this blog

Dear Carly,

I assume that one day you will come to me wanting to know who you are, where you came from, where your other family is and why they gave you to us.  I offer you little bits of information already, but certainly not crumbs enough to satisfy the appetite.  Perhaps it won't matter to you.  I am assuming a lot, already, about how adoption will impact your life.

People often wonder why adoptive parents are hurt when their children seek out biological roots.  I have the answer, and it's very simple.  Adoption - at its core - makes us question the legality, authority, voracity, and validity of parenthood.  For most adoptive parents, first you must come to terms with an issue that strikes at the foundations of mortality: fertility.  From birth, most of us are driven to form families.  First we are nestlings, nurtured and weened and eventually taught to fly.  Then we are nest-builders, filling our lives with the stuff necessary to drive life forward.  Knowledge, safety, money, a sturdy …

On being away from home and turning sixteen: a letter to my son

Dear Josh,

I missed your sixteenth birthday.  I'm sure you recall - or maybe it wasn't so bad because you spent the whole day with your friend watching movies.  Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, you've said.  It's no surprise to me that Godzilla was your favorite of the two.  That atomic green monster holds a special place in your heart.

It was very difficult for me to be away from you when you crossed this threshold in your life.  I remember turning sixteen, being sixteen, and wondering when I would feel like I was actually sixteen.  When I was sixteen, I went and found my first job, I started driving myself around, and I pretty much felt like I was in the wrong skin.  I'm only now, at 37, beginning to feel in the right skin.  Or at least comfortable with the skin I'm in.  But you - well, you don't seem to have a problem being you.  I can't explain how very happy that makes me feel, how very reassured.  Because it can be really hard not to like you…

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

You know when you see someone again and it's been, like, forever, and you're not really even sure that you're getting their name right and you wonder WHAT on EARTH they've done to their hair/face/body/children and you can't quite find the right words to fill the gap between time and space?
My second year of teaching is just beginning - and isn't that a wonder?  Last year...let's just say, we all survived.  Last year involved:
- Commuting home (2 hours, one way) almost every weekend - The kids and I here (in Espanola, where I teach) while Eric stayed in Edgewood - Putting our (still for sale) house on the market - Two semesters of Master's classes (what was I thinking??? on the up side, I only have 1 semester left and I am DONE.  D. O. N. E.) - Saturday's spent in professional development - My first ever "work trip" to San Diego 
And this year:
- Josh is a Senior (whuuuut!) - Carly started 5th grade - We all live here in Espanola (double WH…