I was out with a friend a while back for a play date at a park. We were chatting- and she casually remarked, “Yeah- Kids! They sure humble you!”
At the time of this comment (completely coincidently I’m sure), one of my children was lying face down on the gravel, for the 6th time in 10 minutes wailing about something – (ants?....pants?...)- and the other was stripping off his shirt on the top of the slide- his shoes had already been flung over a few other children waiting their turn.
Yes. I wholeheartedly agree. Although I am more proud of my children than anything/one else-those three certainly humble me. Just when I think I’ve probably gotten most of it figured out- (“it”- you know- raising humans) – they prove me wrong. Or my pediatrician proves me wrong. Like when he said to the boys, “Please stop throwing rocks in my office…” And the other day the boys were playing so nicely in their room- I peeked in and watched them pretending to drive to the grocery store, the library etc.. All of a sudden I hear one brother scream at the other, “GET IN THE CAR! Get in the car NOW!! We are late to Bible Study!!!” ….Oh. So they did hear me the other morning.
And I have been known to yell. Or to not pay attention. Joey came up to me the other day and put his hands on both of my cheeks. “No Mom. Watch. Watch me do this. Don’t just say ‘cool’.”
I give them oatmeal raisin cookies before 8am on occasion. (Because it has the words ‘oatmeal’ and ‘raisin’ in the name.) I raise my voice more often than I would like. Naptime and nighttime are periodic disasters.
“I cannot parent perfectly” I said to myself after losing my temper for no good reason at my kids and sending everyone to their rooms. And this is true-but I can try again to parent more wisely. And bravely. And kindly. And then we apologize and forgive and do it all again the next day.
I do not believe in ‘perfect parents’ (a myth I assume), but I do believe in ‘taking my best shot at a real good effort’. Because I am fully convinced that children are tiny souls entrusted to us. They are listeners and imitators, truthful (mostly) and confusing (often). They are joyful and loving, instinctual and unpredictable. They are brazenly uncensored and inspiring.
“All of this!!” I think to myself.
“All of this!!...” I say to my 2 year old, as I pick him up to wipe peanut butter off his face.
All of this wrapped in 32 inches, 32 pounds and size five diapers.