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Last Saturday Grace and Elijah played in the creek by our house for the first time. It’s a spring creek and last year Elijah was to little to really get in it. It was one of those fantastic parenting moments when something you dreamed about, and had visions of, takes place right in front of you. They were happy, and curious, laughing, and in some cases, cautious. It was a beautiful moment.

We just recently entered into a new phase of parenthood. We are on our fourth week of the two of them playing together, and getting along really, really well. On Sunday we sat on our deck while they walked down to the swing-set together and played. Greg and I just hung out, alone. We would talk for awhile and then one of us would say, “Can you believe this is happening?”

Parenthood is amazing, and parenting two that are twenty-two months apart is a grand adventure. But let me tell you, by grand adventure I mean exhausting! These last two years with Grace and Elijah have been exhausting joy. Any parent knows what I’m talking about – it is beautiful and amazing and you wouldn’t trade one single moment – and it’s hard.

They fight and scream and cry. They have to be fed SO OFTEN. They can’t change their own diaper no matter how clearly you explain the steps. They really like to talk with you – especially when you are on the phone. They want whatever the other one has even if they just traded for what the other one had. You can’t go out to eat. You can’t hold an adult conversation. A minimum of half of your brain is transformed to a homing device at birth. No matter what it looks like you’re doing, over half of your brain is trying to figure out where they are, what they are doing, and how long you can continue talking about….whatever it is you’re talking about, before you have to go, grab them, apologize, and limp home.

At the end of to many days your only goal is bedtime. If you can just make it to bedtime then you will be a human for a few hours. After a few days of this in a row you panic – I’m not ENJOYING THEM. Everyone reminds you – constantly – that this time will be gone and you will miss it. ENJOY them before they are GONE. So your few hours of humanity is spent in the time honored tradition of a parental guilt bath. You will do better tomorrow.

Not to mention the things you say that you just didn’t know adults ever had to say. You really have to tell them to not put their hand in where?!?!? “Don’t paint with your poop” – did I just say that? Too many to count, and too many that are just too weird.

But somehow, somehow, I sit here today and I am smiling ear to ear. Because parenting is really demanding and hard, most of the time, but it is also mostly awesome. I don’t know how that is possible, how can something be 95% challenging and also 99% fabulous? It just is.

We wake up each day to, “It’s a good day.” When I open my office door I hear, “Mommy!” They run to me like I’ve been gone for 3 weeks instead of 3 hours, and I’m knocked over with hugs. When Greg or I leave the house we hear, “Hug! Kiss!” many many times before we are actually allowed to leave. Elijah put on snow-boots, and nothing else, this morning to go play on the deck. They have started wrestling together and giggling. The sat out on the deck and had a conversation yesterday! Grace at ballet. Elijah dancing. Both of their bouncy runs. “Snuggle with me mommy.” “I like food chicken, but not animal chicken.”

I’m wrong – it is 95% challenging and 150% fabulous. Every day.

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