Extra time, extra money, and extra patience. Things I had plenty of BC - before children.
AC - after children, I am left with a few working molecules where I am able to string two thoughts together.
Children humble you in all ways, and in every way. They enter the world, innocent and adorable, with chubby thighs and cheeks that make a mama or daddy’s heart melt into a pat of “I never thought I would love anything this much” butter. As a parent, you are granted access to a part of your heart you weren’t even aware you had. Kids make you sing crazy nonsensical songs, kiss their necks because their laughter is like a hit of pure joy, or watch Paw Patrol on repeat, as you die slowly on the inside.
Then all of a sudden, without warning, one day between the ages of 12-17 years on Earth, these angel like babies morph into a Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde combination. These once tiny infants, now teens, become exasperated when you have the audacity to be in the same room with them. Or switch their laundry. Or breathe.
Never mind you are the one who provides a constant stream of food, shelter and wifi connection. Redemption will only be delivered when you remember to buy that special whipped cream cheese, Dino Nuggets, or Mochi. Then suddenly, you’re catapulted to being a GD hero. It makes absolutely no sense.
Recently we transformed Emma’s room into a calming oasis with a hippie theme: floral closet curtains, a salt lamp, and fairy lights. I would have definitely smoked weed in this room back in college. But alas, AC, I cannot.
That’s where Tom and I were hiding when it happened…just beginning to engage in a real live adult conversation, when the shut door was thrust open.
“Do you want to hear about how I almost died today?” my kid inquired, plopping her body onto the bed like without any sort of invitation.
“Not right now. Daddy and I are talking about our own tales of devastation,” I replied.
She yammered on. I stopped her.
She pushed. I stood my ground.
She huffed out the door never to be seen from again. I exhaled.
Then Tom and I just stared at one another thinking about how we used to smoke weed back in college.
It is really important for kids to be seen and heard to feel valued. It is also important that Tom and I stay married. In order to accomplish this complicated task, we need to role model that our relationship is a priority. That we come first. And contrary to popular belief, the girls come second.
A bit later, I entered her room as a peace offering, and said I was ready to hear her “I almost died story.”
“I’m not in the mood anymore,” she sighed, turning to her phone.
“Okie dokie,” I said, exiting the way I had come.
And in that moment, I knew she knew her parents loved one another. Enough to teach her that one day if and when she is married, her relationship with her spouse comes first.