When older folks see me out with my children, and my children are losing their marbles, having a full on meltdown right there in cereal aisle, I inevitably hear this: “Just wait until they’re all grown up…then you’ll miss [insert horrifying childhood behavior here]….”
Apparently, someday, it’s going to be super sweet and I’m going to dearly miss the midnight vomit down my chest, the screaming meanies who come with me to the grocery store only to completely fall out in the canned foods aisle, the fighting over a 5mm Lego and stepping on said Lego at 2am when I have to “go potty.” Someday I will wish I could shout out, “HOW MARVELOUS!” at the wonky sided Lego firmly embedded in the soft mid-section of my foot rather than, “GAH!!” When my boys move away, does that pain become a quaint memory?
And at the same time, I have been told that I’ll miss the shrill shrieking, the biting, pinching, tripping and psychological warfare that they inflict upon each other daily. Because it seems that any time a woman in her child rearing years complains about the tedious, embarrassing and/or soul crushing moments that make up the days of small children, that woman is immediately admonished by any empty nester in reading or hearing distance that, “Someday you’ll miss these moments! Cherish them!”
I say no. No woman ever in all of time has loved the midnight vomit. No woman has ever looked at her children, in a tangle of blurry arms and legs tearing at each other in hatred only siblings can muster, and had a warm feeling of joy and maternal satisfaction at their “play.” These very moments are the reasons we have mommy-groups, mommy-chatrooms and online discussions about “mommyhood!” I say it’s time we lift the veil. Despite these kind words from The Elders, I don’t usually see them walking up to a family in a restaurant, on a plane, in the mall, at the library or in a park with a misty, wistful kind of look that says, “Oh how I miss those days of grace.”
IN FACT: we see families being kicked off planes because of their crying toddlers and families asked to leave restaurants because their “spirited” children are causing other patrons to not enjoy their meals. Where is all this national treasure wrapped in a Pamper?
Here’s my truth: I really don’t like parts of parenting! And since I’m a fully functioning adult I can dislike parts of motherhood and yet still love my children. What other part of life has to be whole heartedly loved, cherished and held in such perfect high regard? Even my church leader says I’m allowed to feel angry or hurt by our Creator…but not the little darling who’s leaving gobs of snot all over the back seat of the car because he’s gone stiff as a board and won’t wear his legally mandated 5-point harness.
“Oh treasure these moments, because someday you’ll wake up and they’ll be 35!” Thank heavens someday they’ll be 35, I say. Then it’ll be my turn to see the young mother in the store. Except I hope I have the good sense to look at her say, “Isn’t it THE WORST?! But don’t worry, soon she’ll be 35 and you can watch her deal with HER child…that’s the BEST!”