18 Aug
2016
Posted in: parenting
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No Rose-Colored Glasses for Me

She told me I was overly sappy. She accused me of looking at parenting through rose-colored glasses. I was told I was crazy for not wanting my kids to head back to school.

I’ll admit to being a sap. It’s taken me years to embrace the fact that I’m an emotional person. I have all the feelings all of the time. I’m passionate and a little emotionally volatile. I feel my way through life, and no longer make apologies for being soft-hearted.

As for rose-colored glasses, it’s simply not true. Talking about the difficulties of parenting is no longer taboo. Raising people is hard. I know no one who would argue otherwise.

My kids bicker. The boys have to be reminded to include their sister. The sister is a master of tattling on her brothers. Our basement looks like a toy store exploded. Sand, dirt and dead grass litter my floors. Working from home is difficult with children running amok. There are no cousins, grandparents or aunts to lend a hand in my parenting game.

mom posing with four kids on mountain

I’m tired of hearing “Mom” repeated compulsively throughout the day. Planning summer outings that engage all four kids becomes tiring by August. I just want to sit for hours sipping coffee by this point in summer. I would love for just a few hours of quiet. Yet I’m keenly aware of Father Time ticking away the seconds left in my parenting days and less focused on the difficulty surrounding this parenting task.

Our oldest son will be 14 years old in September. For the love of everything, how did that happen? In five years, we will, most likely, be readying our oldest to begin his college career. I have 1,825 days with that boy in my house. He’ll spend 865 days of those years in school, leaving me 960 days. He’ll sleep a good chunk of that. There will be Boy Scout camps and summer jobs. There will dates and activities. Those 960 days will become less about time with us and more about time becoming him separate from us.

The hours left with our oldest like the ones I’ve enjoyed this summer are few, and my emotional heart cannot handle it. I’ve enjoyed the slow mornings and occasional late nights. There’s been time to chat and in-depth conversations. There are daily annoyances, and we butt heads. Our relationship is ever-morphing, as it was always destined to do. I need it to be slower, not because parenting is easy or my kids are the best-behaved, well-listening children you will ever see. It’s quite the opposite in fact. They are a rough, messy, not-listening, loud lot, but they’re the answer to so many prayers I’ve offered over the years.

I’ll laugh at the funny photos circulating social media with parents rejoicing at children heading to school, but I won’t be posing for my own. Bring your mimosas to celebrate your quiet home, and I’ll eat my ice cream wishing we had just one more week of summer. Feel free to call me a sap or elbow me for my teary-eyed drive to drop off my two middle school bound sons. I can take the goading.

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