𝘐 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨.
It was the seemingly logical conclusion that stumbled into my head after I’d battled the fatigued defiance of my five year old and the second wind of my three year old.
𝘐 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘰𝘰.
The lifetime commitment of parenting was a weird surprise. Yes, I knew I was having a child each time, having consciously created it and having done all the things to keep it alive in my uterus. Still, I remember pausing (for an embarrassing amount of time on top of the embarrassment of pausing) when I realized parenting was forever.
Unconsciously, I’d thought this was a performance. You do the hard prep work, you birth the child and then… Apparently I was waiting for someone to applaud and hand me flowers. They never showed up. Realizing I had at least 18 more years to parent up close and then the rest of my life to parent by scanning whatever social media platform my darling offspring are on is both present and terrifying.
It’s 9:50pm on a Tuesday and the youngest is still moving around in her bed, legs and arms shifting to find the perfect position or in a premeditated attempt to keep herself awake and presumably free. I want to tell her that if she doesn’t sleep she won’t grow. Sounds harsh but it won’t even faze her. I’ve never had a ton of easily accessible quips on my tongue. She’s self-assured and can’t fathom why anyone would tell her “No” or why I’d say such awful things.
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘪𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦. 𝘐 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘈𝘓𝘓 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘴.
Photo by Edgar Castrejon on @Unsplash