Or the financial cost-kids are really expensive and I thought that would be stressful.
Even the constant teaching of manners, grammar, behavior isn't nearly as hard as the HARDEST part. I think sometimes teaching can be fun-as demonstrated in the picture of me, Doug and Anna at the beach. We're practicing the "MONKEE WALK" and having a lot of laughs doing it.
The truth is, (and I learned this ages ago in my very first child development class but conveniently FORGOT it) as we raise our children, subconsciously we relive our own childhood.
Does this mean we have to grow up all over again?
Though many choose not to and I can't say I blame them-it's freaking harder than doing it the first time, at least for me.
Baby Girl is seven. We went on a family outing last week. The souvenir she chose was a necklace. It was one of those that came with a matching one-two halves of a heart that read BEST FRIEND. I watched her lovingly box, wrap and label it. Her eyes gleamed with joy and pride. When school was delayed Monday morning-she nearly cried.
Selfishly, I flashed back to my own childhood. A tornado of emotions swirled in me. The purity of friend love and the sorrow of learning life is more complicated than matching necklaces nearly paralyzed me. Does everyone have memories like this? Or is it just me?
But most of all, because Baby Girl loves so freely (like me) will she suffer the same hurts I have? Can I protect her? Should I warn her that people suck?
And that's where my growth comes in. People do not suck. My wounds are that-MINE. I need to find the source of them and leave her passion alone.
Anna is showing me how. I can choose to look away, ignore it and force my beliefs on her. But I don't want to. I want to grow. I long to embrace the lessons she is bringing into my life, heart and soul.
But damn, it's HARD-harder than the sleepless nights of infancy and the tantrums of toddlers. As a matter of fact, I might have a tantrum now! Just kidding.
Still, there's a part of me that wants to teach her all that I know--bubble wrap her from the world of disappointment. And I think she intuitively knows that. Which is why she shared the following song with me and cried. I cried too, not because I was sad-- but because I was healing. And it felt really, really good.
Thanks, Baby Girl. I love you. And for you, I will push through the hardest part of parenting to be the best person I can be. I promise to do the best I can to keep learning so you "Never Grow Up."