Can we talk about parenting for a minute? Can we pull up a chair and take a deep breath and sip a cup of tea or wine or water or coffee and talk about how insanely beautiful it is?
How some days the big brother and little sister hold hands and dance in the kitchen and the dishwasher gets unloaded without whining as the Lion King soundtrack booms and the new six-year-old reads to the baby as he giggles and the splashing at the beach and how we lay on our backs and watch the marshmallowy clouds drift through the blue as can be sky and we joke about genies coming out of bottles and snakes eating dragons and other mischievous cloud creatures.
It is so, so good.
Can we pull up a chair and take a deep breath and down a glass of wine or a bottle of beer or an extra large cup of coffee and talk about how maddeningly difficult it is?
How some days "NO ONE ELSE DOES ANY SCHOOL EVER IN THE SUMMER" and "MY MATH IS WAAAAAAAY HARDER THAN ANYONE ELSE'S MY AGE" and "I'M NOT SLEEPY SO I WON'T GO TO SLEEP FOR 38 BILLION MORE YEARS" and "EVERY SINGLE DAY MY DAYS ARE HARDER THAN ANYONE ELSE'S IN THE WORLD."
It is so, so hard.
(P.S. Have I mentioned that my children are fluent in hyperbole? In this case, the apple fell straight from the mama tree so I laugh uproariously about it when it isn't making me crazy.)
Because of our fluency in exaggeration, we take a tough situation and we roll it into a ball and we set it atop a very large, snow-covered mountain and we give our little snowball problem a wee little push and then we lean over to have the best view to watch it gather speed and size until it is large enough to wipe out small villages of Swiss skiers.
See? Exaggeration. It's my default.
When I get on my crazy person treadmill, I say "Tomorrow is a new day." Over and over I say it until it becomes my personal mantra. When the hard days start early in the morning I may add a little flair to my mantra and it becomes, "If I make to tomorrow, then tomorrow will be a new day." Dramatic much? Perhaps.
But Annie, in all of her ginger glory, knew what she was talking about when she said, "The sun'll come out tomorrow." Everything just feels better after a good night's sleep and a little distance from the stressful moments. For me, that simple truth feels like a big, fat lie when this whole parenting gig feels like it's going to hell in a handbasket, but it really is true.
This isn't rocket science. It isn't breaking news. But it is a necessary reminder when life feels hard. When one bad day interrupts a string of really great days and the tendency is to hold tight to that bad day instead of finding the beauty within it and remembering the great days that preceded it and the great days yet to come.
|one of my favorite quotes|
My Monday included shouting and stomping feet and rolled eyes and tears and broken Legos and arguing and threats of running away to Florida. (my kid, not me, although I think it is a fine idea and one I may pursue in the future.) It also included an unprompted apology and a hug and forgiveness and games of catch before dinner and brownie sundaes for dessert and back scratches and prayers before bedtime. Not too shabby after all.
Just a bad day.
Not a bad life.
What is your personal mantra that gets you through your tough days? Favorite saying or bible verse or song?