i don’t often write long bits about what i think. this hasn’t really been a space for that. but more and more i’m wanting to remember the little things in my life i’m in love with. it’s hard to find the silver lining some days. tantrums, meltdowns, diapers, shrieking, answering the same question 204 times. every so often though- that little bit of… beauty. that little glimpse of amazing. of course i love my kids. but they have literally turned my life upside down. it doesn’t resemble the life i had 5 years ago in any way, other than i live in the same house, and i’m married to the same amazing husband. everything else? completely different. here’s 5 truths i’ve discovered that i wanted to get down as my oldest turns 4.
1- i was an asshat. i imagined having kids. i thought about what it would be like. and in every way that i thought about it, and tried to insert them into my future life- i was wrong. i. was. so. wrong. you know where you go wrong in those imaginings? getting them dressed, finding their shoes, strapping them into carseats, feeding them, trying to have a conversation with my husband- all the things you know nothing about until you do them 20 times. a day. those little bits of things will drive you mad, and you could never have imagined them. and even if you did, you were wrong. i thought humans instinctively wanted to eat. i think humans instinctively want to throw food. and smear it on walls, and stuff it in hidden places usually on or around the couch. eat it? no.
2- your kid has it’s own personality from the moment it comes out. even when it’s a blob, it’s a blob with a personality. from the get go, my son wanted AWAY. he wanted to be going. we was always looking beyond me. so much so, that i don’t even think he realized i was there for months. my daughter- opposite. she wants only me, she’s happiest when she’s on top of me, or staring into my eyes, or touching my face, telling me all the words she can think of. i think i thought babies were these little malleable beings that would take my loving instruction, and become these humans i had made into brilliant beings. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. they are who they are, and you are literally just keeping them alive while they slowly go through every phase of becoming adults.
3- your kids will be completely different. if you tell yourself (when you’re insanely thinking of having a second one) well, we’ve already done this, we’re like… EXPERTS. that’s like saying… i can hang a picture, i bet i could build a rocket ship. you know what you know? you know what it’s like to get out the door with one kid, who can most likely walk, and communicate a few things, and you’ve probably gotten into a groove of how to get something done. NOW ADD A COMPLETELY HELPLESS, NEEDY, SHRIEKING blob you have to carry everywhere, and feed every two hours, including all night. that new one will need all the things the first one did, and on top of that, you’ll be chasing the one who can actually run and scream and freak out, and you’ll be doing all that on 3 hours of sleep. and the first one might be ok with the new one for a while, and then completely lose it when it realizes the new one isn’t going away. again, just trying to keep everyone alive.
4- remember when you were single, or maybe newly married, and you saw that lady at target, and her kids were both screaming, and she looked like she couldn’t hear them, and like maybe she didn’t own a brush? and you thought- my kids will never do that! i will not let myself go like that! YOU ARE AN IDIOT. i could tell you how you are so wrong, or why you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, but i will just say. your kids will scream, and there will be nothing you can do to stop it. you will be sleepless and tired, and there won’t be enough coffee in the world. the ideas you had when you didn’t have kids were IDIOTIC. also, if you are that lady at target, and you get the nod of solidarity from another lady with kids in her cart, or even no kids, just actually sympathetic to your plight- feel less alone. we’ve all been there. your kids aren’t the worst in the world. you’re doing great. stop worrying about your hair.
5- maybe i get hung up on little things that i have no control over. my kids are loud, and kind of wild. they’re not always very nice, they’re head strong and independent beyond their ages. we’re at 2 years with the youngest, and last night i slept on their bedroom floor and held her hand all night, because that was the only way the both of us were going to get some sleep. but there is absolutely nothing like hearing one of them tell the other one something about the world. having their little arms around my neck, and tell me they love me. they bring me flowers, and they ask about daddy all day. they are sweet and loving in the simplest, most basic way, and just about every day i see something from them that usually reduces me to welling up, or actually crying. they hold each others hands when they’re scared. they share things with each other. the sweet moments do not outnumber the crazy moments in time, but they do outweigh them in volume. those sweet moments are the ones i keep track of. the photo above is a moment from monday when i realized- holy shit. i have made two people! and they live here. we were two, and now we’re four. it’s astounding, and scary, and hard, and really really lovely.