The other day, a friend of mine who is expecting asked me for some perspective. Her other parent friends have been telling her how hard it is, focusing on the bad side of parenting and making her feel discouraged; she asked me to tell her what’s good about it. She caught me in a moment when I was questioning why I ever thought it would be a good idea to have kids, because it’s just been so hard lately. But you know what? As hard as it is, I love it. I love my kids, I love being a mom.
Most of the really great stuff for me lately is sibling stuff. I love Sam and Grace’s relationship SO MUCH. The way he RUNS into the bedroom when he hears her stirring on the monitor. The fact that she learned how to crawl this week because she wanted to get to one of his toys. How much she loves going on the swings at the playground and how much he loves pushing her. The way he runs over to pat her when she fusses and tells her, “Okay, okay,” or, “Okay, Goggy.” (Goggy=baby.) The way people look at them and say, “Two redheads!” (Because, you know, I haven’t noticed. People are so silly. But having two of them has stopped the accusatory demands to the effect of, “How dare you have a redhead when your hair is BROWN?”)
The sibling stuff is great and it’s kind of my whole world right now, but it’s not so helpful or relevant because my friend is expecting her first. So I’ve been thinking about it for days, trying to figure out how to express what I love about being a mom. There’s the big stuff, of course, the part where you see and shape the growth of a human being, the part where you love and are loved unconditionally. But this morning I realized that the joy of parenting–just like the rest of life–is in the moments.
Sam’s Gramma sent him a pair of Woody and Buzz dolls (sorry, action figures) with my birthday present. He LOVES them. Will and Sam went for a walk this morning and Sam insisted on bringing the guys. When they returned Will reported to me that Sam ‘flew’ Buzz the whole way. They’d been back for maybe five minutes when Sam, clutching his pals tightly, asked to watch Toy Story. And it was not two minutes later that Sam ran downstairs shouting “Oh no! Oh no!” and retrieved Woody’s hat from the floor where Will had tossed it on their way out the door (for fear of losing it). Woody’s hat back on his head, Sam happily settled down on the couch…until he saw that his dad was building something. Sam is Will’s assistant so he ran to help.
And THAT is what is awesome about being a parent.
Could you all do me a favor? That is, those of you who have kids? Leave a comment with one thing that is great about being a parent. It can be a ‘big’ thing, it can be a moment–whatever.
Thank you, I love you.