MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!! A blood curtiling scream comes from my son’s upstairs bedroom. Expecting the worst, I ran as fast as I could to his room. All the while, picturing blood pouring out from some gaping wound on his body. “She won’t give me my skateboard back” my 11 year old yells. “You chucked it at me as hard as you could” my thirteen year old daughter retorts holding the mini skateboard high above her head. Heart pounding from fear and panic, I stop and take a deep breath… “Tell your sister you’re sorry and you, give him back his skate board”. This is just a typical beginning of my day. I often ask myself and other moms when they are complaining about something their child did to make their lives miserable, “Why on earth do we have them anyway??”
We measure every new mile stone they make with anticipation and glee when they are tiny: sitting up, crawling, and taking that first step, saying ma ma and da. Then they learn to talk NO! NO! and it doesn’t get any better from then on. For the next several years we spend our lives perfecting the art of refereeing.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my children, but they can frustrate, enrage, and push my buttons unlike any others? Have you ever been in the car on a road trip to Grandma’s or for that matter to the store and the fight ensues. What is it the gas or exhaust fumes that makes them go bonkers? You’re in the front seat trying to steer the car, watch the road, calm the situation down and it just gets worse? Now they’re punching each other. Your still in the front seat trying to steer the car with one hand, watch the road with one eye, and your free arm and eye are in the back seat trying to stop the melee back there. “DON’T MAKE ME PULL THIS CAR OVER!!!” Oh my God, I just turned into my father.
As they get older it gets even more challenging with mouthy teenagers, sex, drugs, drinking, and being behind the wheel of a vehicle they have no business being behind. I haven’t hit that mark yet, not looking forward to it. But like all the other ages and stages, I have made it through still loving them, trying to teach them morals, values, and pride in themselves and the choices they make.
Parenting is the hardest and most important thing I have ever done in my life. It does not come with an instruction booklet, we can just do the best we can. Trying to raise my children to be productive citizens in this crazy world is a task not for the faint of heart. I know I have made mistakes but that is all part of learning. This is a lifetime of on the job training and I’m not going to get it perfect every time, so I forgive myself and move on to the next crisis. In the end, my children can be frustrating, enraging etc., but I find that my life would not be a worthwhile life if it wasn’t for them. They have truly taught me how to love unconditionally, and they love me back in return. They are the only thing in my life that I would kill or die for, I love them that much. Even with their frustrating traits (from their father of course) I love them with ALL my heart, and when I’m feeling sad or lonely one of them will make me laugh and make me forget I even felt that way in the first place. So why do we have them anyway? We have them to learn from, we learn patients, how to be better listeners, and how to love unconditionally. We have them so we may teach them values, morals, consequences, honesty. We have to leave our mark on this world, to share happiness, joy, and sadness. But most of all, we have them to LOVE.
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