The Answer

Of course the answer to my question from earlier today is obvious. What is there to love about parenting? My kids. And I do love them. Fiercely.

I can imagine you all must doubt that I feel anything positive about parenting. I will admit that some days, I don’t. But the good moments with my kids, when they happen, surpass the good of most other things in my life. They really can be a potent source of joy.

Here are just a few things I love about my children, and parenting them, right now:

The way my daughter bounces through life. When she’s happy, my daughter exudes joy and enthusiasm. She can be a bright, bright light.

Watching my daughter learn to read and thinking of all the amazing books we will share, and the movies we will watch, and the conversations about them we’ll have.

When my daughter does something for me, without me asking, just to make me smile.

Wrastling with my daughter on her bed, cracking fart jokes and laughing until our sides hurt.

When my daughter asks some incredible question that shows how much she’s thinking about the world, like: Mommy, who was the first person and how did he get here? What was here before the water and the sand?

When I see my daughter be a good friend to someone else.

When I watch my daughter learn something new.

The way my son talks, so excited just to be able to vocalize his thoughts in a way others understand.

The intense excitement of my son’s words when he asks his sister to do something or realizes she wants to play with him.

When my son yells Mommy! and runs to me when I pick him up from school, and how he always tells me, first thing, “I played with my friends!”

The way my son rubs his blankie between his fingers when he’s self-soothing after an upset.

The softness of his face when I smother my son with kisses.

The intense concentration with which my son turns to me when I ask for “a hug and a mooch.”

The weight of my son’s body on my chest when he asks for “snuggles on the big chair.”

The sound of my son’s laugh.

There is more, so much more. And these bright spots really are amazing. I just wish there were more of them in any given day, and I wish I wasn’t so exhausted from all the emotional managing to appreciate them more.

11 Comments

  1. Yes, this is the flip side. Glad you can see it as well as the hard imperfect side. I think you are a good parent. I was imperfect in parenting when I was doing it.
    Now you have been through the suspension ask the school what will happen if he bites again and set it up for them to call MIL directly who can message you she has picked him up. That way you are not interrupted in mid-class. Ask school how they would want their teachers to respond to such an event when they are teaching. See how long they will let son sit in their office before he is picked up…. 10 mins? 30? 45? 90? Because life is real and they need to look at their expectations as well as set yours.
    I love the images of the joy you see with and in your children. Proud of you.

    1. I have a meeting scheduled for my week off to meet with the teacher and director so we can talk about what happens before, during and after these incidents. I hope we can figure something out that works for all of us.

  2. I’m always amazed at how I feel total resentment and frustration and literally 30 seconds later, absolute adoration and amazement.

  3. oh this made me smile so big! It is amazing what brings joy – watching your child learn to read and really LOVE it, it truly is amazing. My mother always said she loved babies and she loved teenagers and not much in between:) I am very close to my mother now and she is a middle school teacher still (almost at retirement) perhaps those teen years will be your amazing place too.

  4. Parenting is hard. No doubts about it. But, yes…the joys are pure and wonderful when we can stop and find them. Beautiful post! Thank you!

  5. I don’t doubt – and have never doubted – for a minute that there are aspects and moments of parenting that you love and that bring you joy. It’s nice that you’ve been able to take time to remember them though, as you’ve done here.

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