In my experience, parenting is best described as a constant flood of emotion that hits you in the face while you attempt to navigate through adult life without completely losing your shit. Repeatedly. Forever.
Besides the overwhelming love, joy, excitement, guilt (GUILT!!!) and anxiety that marks motherhood, there are the small, daily struggles to traverse not only your own feelings, but your children’s. Example: it’s 8:00 am. Your kid doesn’t want to wear shoes. The clock is ticking, you’re tired, everything is stupid, and you want to scream…but instead, you take a deep breath, calmly remind him that it’s winter, and put his damn shoes on again while HE screams, because he’s three and still figuring out his ever-changing world. Or maybe you do scream, because HOW MANY TIMES A DAY DO I HAVE TO PUT ON YOUR DAMN SHOES, I JUST PUT SHOES ON YOU TWO MINUTES AGO, WHERE IS THE OTHER SHOE NOW, aaaannnnd we’re late again.
In other moments, parenting is about turning things you hate into things you love, because your children need you to. Case in point: this morning, I spent an hour standing at the bottom on a hill, shivering in the frigid wind while my feet slowly transformed into blocks of solid ice. I hate winter, I hate the cold, I hate everything that doesn’t meet the scenario in my biodome post from last week. Honestly. But I was there, hating every second but loving it all SO MUCH, because this:
My almost-5 year old just started her second year of snowboarding lessons, and it’s amazing to watch. She’s a natural talent with no fear – which terrifies ME, of course – and her joy on the hill is palpable. And so I stand there, wanting to die because of the cold, and never wanting to leave because she’s in her element and it fills my heart. When the class ended and the other kids raced off toward warm cars and hot chocolate, she begged to do one more run. She’s a maniac in the best way, and I love it.
So I’ll continue to freeze at the bottom of the hill, and curse internally and dream of a world wherein my kids choose warm-weather activities, but truly, I will never be happier than when I’m watching her glide across the snow with a huge smile on her face. Because if anyone can get me to willingly spend my weekends doing something I hate, it’s my kids. (Just as long as they don’t ask me to eat bananas. I won’t do it.)