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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Parenting Sucks

It's the early days of parenting and you're so sleep deprived you can hardly stay awake much less shower and look presentable for the world to see.  The baby you couldn't wait to hold in your arms instead of your belly won't stop crying and you're about lose what little self control you had.  Finally, you think you have this crying thing under control when the little creature you brought into this world starts shrieking again and you want to run away and hide from the constant barrage of noise coming out of a being so tiny there was no way it should be able to make that much noise.  But after months of enduring the constant stream of incessant crying and overcoming the urge to quit trying to be a good mommy you're rewarded with tiny, baby giggles.

Yes, parenting sucks.



After a couple of years you decide it's time to add another child to the family and baby number two comes along.  This baby is so much more calm and easy going, it's like a whole different world.  This baby seems to know he has a big brother looking out for him and loving him.













This baby falls easily into a routine and loves life,













his big brother


and you.













Yes, parenting sucks.

Fast forward a year or so and you become either crazy enough or stupid enough to believe you can handle another baby.  You know your last baby was a breeze.  He lulled you into a false sense of security and then WHAM...you are sucker punched with the baby from hell.  She was the baby you wanted so badly.  The little girl who surprised you after two boys.  She was the one whose gender you didn't want to know when you were pregnant with her because your heart knew once the baby was born you'd love it, whether it was a girl or a boy, but your head told you that you'd spend your whole pregnancy pissed off if you found out it was another boy.  She was the one you stayed awake all night for at the hospital after she was born marveling at the fact that you had a daughter, the best Christmas present ever.  But she is the second one who won't stop crying.  The second one whose shrieks, cries and baby screams nearly drive you to the brink of insanity.  You want this third baby to be as easy as the second.  You want her to realize she has not one, but two, big brothers looking out for her.


But she won't stop.  She's inconsolable.  Her brother pisses her off.



 Even when he's trying to console her.











 
It wasn't until she found her legs that she stops being inconsolable, and it's now you realized how desperate she was to keep up with her big brothers.  Once she could, she's unstoppable, adorable and more than a lot lovable.
Yes, parenting sucks.

You live through the tedium and daily routine of life with little ones.  You somehow muster the strength each day to read the same books over and over and over again, only to be rewarded with sweet sighs of contentment and little eyes drooping sleepily.  You live through the painful games of Shoots and Ladders only to be rewarded with a big sloppy kiss and a coveted, "I love you, Mama."  You rock and rock and rock the sleepy baby who needs to go to bed but implores you with a pinky finger held up and a little voice pleading with you to, "rock a minute" or stay and snuggle "one more minute."  

Yes, parenting sucks.

Then those babies turned into elementary schoolers and you work with them on homework you did in fourth grade.  You learn the state capitals all over again, and again and again.  You learn Virginia history not once, not twice but three times.  You work on spelling words until you think your head is going to explode when they misspell the word "safety" for the twentieth time.  But your reward is sweet when they come home grinning from ear to ear because they mastered, to the very best of their ability, whatever it was they needed to.

Yes, parenting sucks.

Jump ahead to the middle school years when the boys lose their minds and become creatures you never imagined.  

They pull stupid stunts, get caught for it and pay a hefty price both at school and at home.  They try your patience day after day as grades plummet and the goofy factor skyrockets.  You aren't so sure you'll survive the boys' middle school years.  But somehow you do and they not only survive, but come out OK, and maybe a little more than ok.  Your reward is a walk across the stage to accept their eighth grade "diplomas" with giant grins on their faces, ready to take on the world of high school.  

Yes, parenting sucks. 

You are blessed with the youngest and you know it.  She went from a shrill, shrieking inconsolable baby to a mature, intelligent young woman who is taking middle school by storm.   You can't believe your good fortune and you count your blessing every day, hoping and hoping that she'll stay on this path.

Yes, parenting sucks. 


Your oldest.  He is getting ready to fly the nest soon.  



He prepares you a little more each day.  He is testing his wings and cutting the apron strings just a little.  He likes his freedom and hanging out with his friends.  He is rarely home and when he is he is sleeping.  He goes away for weekends with youth groups and you don't hear from him while he's gone.  He is preparing you for his departure.  But then he comes sneaking in the front door after being gone all weekend and the first place he stops is your office.  With a huge grin on his face and his arms open wide he waits for you to jump out of your chair and straight into his arms.  He picks you up as you say, "I'm SO glad your home!  I missed you!!"  He says, "I missed you too!  I'm glad to be home."  Your heart is full as he walks out into the kitchen to greet the rest of the family who have been roused from various parts of the house by the excitement in your voice.

Yes, parenting sucks.  But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Oh, for the love of my children....

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