Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sacrifice for the Lambs

Parenting is hard. You knew that. But just in case you didn't because you don't deal with children in any way or you didn't know because you are one of those parents that lets the kids raise themselves, I'm just here to reiterate to the world that parenting is hard. So much self-sacrifice and you never really think of all the little things you may need to sacrifice occasionally or for a really long time, waiting on that magical time when they are old enough to do something or grown up and gone, gone, gone, woah oh oh oh.

You may have to get up early when you're a night owl because I think most kids are wired to wake up with the birds lest they miss a cartoon re-run.

You may have to go to bed late no matter how tired you are because of homework that never ends. "Are we done yet?" "No. I have another worksheet in my folder." Ugh.

You may have to miss that favorite TV show for the same reason, so you DVR it but can you watch it? Probably not because you want to sleep, which you can't do as much as you'd like so the shows pile up and then you delete them because you're running out of space.

You may have to miss some activity you'd like to do so they can have activities of their own. After all, they need to be exposed to things and develop a life of their own.

You do have to ALWAYS rephrase things in your head before you say something the wrong way or that you don't mean, thus risking damaging their psyches or opening yourself to questions you aren't ready to answer.

You may have to miss work to take them to an appointment or to go to their school or because they are sick or because you are exhausted and the only rest you will get is when they go to school and you finally get the house to yourself.

You may have to live in a pigsty, no matter how much you hate it because sweeping every day is exhausting and asking repeatedly for the bookbags and clothes and small, pointy toys to be removed from the common areas makes you tired of hearing your own voice.

You may have to settle for quickies in the middle of the night when you'd rather sleep instead of slow-pace in the well-rested mornings because someone is forever slamming open your bedroom door just to do a little dance and then leave.

You may have to lock the bathroom door or else be forced to referee an argument from your porcelain throne. You really should just go ahead and lock that door.

You may have to put on a rubber glove to do anything in the backseat of your own car because it's always a dumping ground of the little inhabitants who insist they need to bring everything they own with them everywhere they go and then leave it there for future automobile entertainment.

You may have to eat a lot of cereal because the rest of the good food disappears faster then morning bagels in the office kitchen. They are ALWAYS hungry and will tell you so in a really whiny voice.

You may have to wear clothes you are tired of so they can buy the books in the school bookclub or get new shoes that never last more than a year anyway or simply save for some future thing you know you are going to want for them.

And just when you think you have nothing left to give and no more patience, they crawl like a cat to your side on the sofa and kiss you just because you are you. They stare at you while you watch TV just "because I love you." They work hard to find a joke that makes you laugh and run in triumph to tell the other one they succeeded. They tell daddy, "You need to treat mommy like a queen," because something in them tells them that's how it should be. And you fall in love with them all over again.

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