The stains on the couch, the stretchmarks on my oversized hips, the late night whispers in the dark where Tom and I ask each other "do we suck at parenting? are we doing this right?"---these things tell a different story. But I do, I have really amazing children.
Even the grumpy ones,
and the can't sit still silly ones,
these children are F-U-L-L of character,
and I hope I do enough to help them realize that, and embrace who they are. I want them to be proud to be the silly, grumpy, frustrating, couch staining children that they are. Because really, they are really really amazing.
Of all the things they are going to doubt in their lives, I never want them to question how blessed I am to be their mother. I love the phrase "the pleasure was all mine," and I understand it now. It makes me think of some old movie, probably a black and white 1950's film, where one man in a fine suit shakes hands with another man in a fine suit and one says "thank you," and the other replies "no no, the pleasure was all mine." But no, this is a parenting phrase. When these children turn into adults I want them to look back on their childhood and know for certain that the pleasure was all mine. It doesn't always seem like it now, but it is a pleasure. It is a pleasure to calm every fear, kiss every scrape, cuddle every whimper in the middle of the night, tame every tantrum. It is a pleasure.
Since we lost my grandfather and had to drive the kids all the way down the middle of the country to Texas it seems that Tom and I haven't been able to shake a feeling of bad luck. We are exhausted. Teebs refuses his sleep training, we're behind on projects in the house, there's an unfinished bathroom remodel in the basement waiting for someone to pick up where they left off,
and the list of Bub's phobias is growing daily and now includes even moderately loud noise,
but I think that's even more reason to appreciate the things that we have that are amazing. Like a husband who is a provider and a comforter,
who may not be really good at finishing projects, but he is really good at starting them, and it's that ambition that inspires me.
We have afternoons to spend in the park.
We have time to stop and appreciate.
A lot of things just feel good right now. Some things feel a little bad. But a lot of things feel pretty good. I like to remind myself of the good things. Like when I'm on the verge of really, really wallowing in pity and dwelling on the things that just aren't quite the right that I think they should be, I like to pause, spread my fingers out for just a moment all the way to the fingertips, and feel the air. There is a lot of good energy in that air.
Even when it feels better, and more natural, to only see the bad and to wallow. The goodness is still all around.
So why wallow? When we could play---
Even Bub has his own way of feeling the goodness in the air,
he collides with life. Throws himself right into the thick of it. Sucks it up. Absorbs. Begs for more. Bub loves the goodness in life. Bub is the goodness in life.
Tomorrow is Friday, and I am about to end the week and start the weekend with no laundry to tackle and a clean house. It won't last long, but it puts just a little more goodness into the air. So this weekend I'm going to be surrounded by amazing children, an organized house, a loving husband, good energy, and a lot of warm weather and free time. And yes, like usual we will still be tired. We will still have things we wish we would have accomplished, but didn't. Things will go wrong. Messes will be made. Tears will be shed. Tantrums will be had. But the pleasure is most certainly all mine.
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