There are days when it is so very hard to find the simple joys of parenting due to my own stresses and emotions. There are days when it is a challenge to be the parent that I strive to be. But there are some days when I look at my children in amazement and know that everything will be alright and that I am doing the very best that I can for these little ones given to me. I know that other parents out there feel the same way. I know that no one is prefect and that people can only do the best they can with what knowledge they have, some people just don’t know better. But there is a common occurrence in my day that I want to bring to attention:
Nothing is worse than a day gone wrong, when you are out running errands, and everyone is cranky, there you are waiting in line and someone asks about your children… then they hit you with the old standby, “Just wait until they are teenagers…” as if the day isn’t going bad enough- now I have a horrible future ahead of me too?! Somehow people assume that once you hit the teens that you are doomed to slammed doors, screaming matches, promiscuous behavior, and more horrors than Friday the 13th movie. I don’t get it because I know plenty of teens and they are the coolest, most open minded, creative people I know.
That phrase, “Just wait until ____” was said to me when I was pregnant, when I told people that I was expecting a little girl, when the girls were learning to crawl, then walk. Why do people feel the need to take away today’s joy for an unknown tomorrow? I heard, “Just wait until she can walk, you will never sit down!” and “Just wait until she starts starts liking boys- it’s all over then!” (For the record Gabby has a favorite boy in our co-op and it is adorable!)
To those naysayers I say:
Just wait until your new baby looks in your eyes, you feel that nothing can be bad in the world.
Just wait until she asks for you to put some lip gloss on her as well because she wants to match you.
Just wait until he can tell you how much he loves you.
Just wait until she says that she wants to be just like you when she grows up, it is the best feeling in the world.
Just wait until she smiles at you halfway through nursing, a silly milk-filled grin!
Just wait until he understands humor and takes a stab at making up his own jokes… it is going to make no sense and be hilarious all at the same time.
Just wait until she finds out that she can read on her own and looks at you with such pride and amazement!
Just wait until he doesn’t feel well and all he wants is to cuddle with you because your arms make everything better.
Just wait until she asks you for boy advice because she knows she can talk to you about anything.
Just wait, because you have so much to look forward to!!!
Yes, there are times when I wish that Moira couldn’t climb up the stairs so quickly, that AJ didn’t know what makeup or Hello Kitty was, and that Gabby didn’t have a personality so different from my own. But oh the joy that comes from raising these girls! There is nothing like it in the world and I am striving to make a conscious effort to appreciate and embrace all the stages of their childhood, from the sleepless nights of a nursing baby to the emotionally charged teen years. Each will come with their own challenges and frustrations I am sure. But my job as a parent is to look beyond that and see the growth, the beauty, and innate goodness in my children. Just wait… there is so much happiness to look forward to!