Everyone is doing it, and we all know I am nothing if not a follower. You know what I’m talking about, that day of thanks through the month of November game. I’m going to throw in a couple of twists, though. Instead of writing every day and posting it for all to gloss over in their news feed read on Facebook, I’m going to post just once week and do it here on the website. Maybe you’ll read it. Maybe you won’t. Either way, I’ll remember in my moments of misery that there is a lot to be grateful for in this overwhelming life I’ve built for myself. Ready, set, go!
November 1 – I am thankful for bedtime. Although I still get up with one to three babies most nights for one to a thousand different reasons, I love the release that comes after the last little one is tucked in, and I shut the bedroom door behind me. I come downstairs to see the sea of toys, books, papers, odds, and ends they have left in their wake. I step over each item gingerly on my way to the couch, where I collapse. I soak in the silence. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. I let the stress of the day fade quickly, as triumph washes over me. I made it through another day. I did it! Mistakes and successes, I was neither defeated by disaster nor blinded by victory. I have to do it again tomorrow. And every day after. I still have to, you know, raise them. Even then, I will continue to be involved once they have grown up and moved away. The parenting marathon has no end as far as I’m concerned. It’s the original neverending story. But at bedtime, I sit on my couch knowing that although I have plenty more to do before their first wake-up, in this quiet moment, I have successfully reached one finish line.
November 2 – I am thankful for nap time. What in life is better than nap time? Nothing. Those beautiful breaks in a hectic day – good or bad – are so incredibly rejuvenating. If it’s been a morning of nothing but tantrums, you get some solitude in which to shed your own tears. If it’s been a morning of non-stop activities, you get time to just sit still. The babes get to reset too! Nap. Such a short word for such an important, essential, and vital part of any day with young children. Don’t believe me? Ask any parent whose tiny tot skipped a nap…or worse, has stopped taking them all together.
November 3 – I am thankful for their improper use of language. The girl says “feets” instead of “feet.” The boy says “bank you” instead of “thank you.” I love it! I adore it when my little people, who are growing up so fast that it makes my head spin, stop the clock by coming up with words and usage that can only come from the mind of a child. Many a time they have kept me from losing my cool by making up a word. Many a time they have made me laugh to the point of tears by using a word in completely the wrong context. It’s a pause button on life, a moment that screams, “Hey! This is a super cute KID in front of you! Pay attention!” And, thankfully, I always do.
November 4 – I am thankful for diapers. Have you ever had to clean shit off a teddy bear? Or pee out of a car seat? Enough said.
November 5 – I am thankful for ring tones. Like most folks, I have assigned different rings to contacts in my cell phone and my land line. There is so much comfort in hearing the Man’s song at the end of a long day…knowing that even if I don’t get to the phone in time, his call means he is in his car and on his way to join me in raising our babes. I get to pee! And talk about my day! And have someone pass me a drink! There is so much joy in my heart when Monday morning rolls around and my best friend’s tone plays after a weekend of family time, knowing that she’ll understand why the Man is being an idiot, why my worries about the kids aren’t as bad as I think they are, and why that hussy in line at the grocery store deserved the stink eye I gave her. There is so much relief that engulfs me when my mom’s chime fills up my living room, knowing that she’ll alternate talking to the girl and the boy for a few minutes (or a half hour), so I can change the baby, pay the bills, empty the dishwasher, or get dinner started. Happy melodies that play and instantly change my mood with just a few orchestrated notes.
November 6 – I am thankful for birth control. Be easy. I’ll explain. We very, very, very much planned for the girl. It took us three years and many obstacles to bring that sweet baby to life. The boy followed a year later, which was also part of the big picture. The baby showed up a little sooner than expected but only by a few months. Even though I wanted and prepared for every child, I still felt COMPLETELY out of my element with each addition. There was always a bit of sheer terror in my heart as I brought those tiny loves home from the hospital. Most of the time I still feel like a kid playing pretend as an adult, and that feeling is never more apparent than when a newborn is handed to me to take home…and keep…forever. I CANNOT imagine what would have happened if I had an oops baby. I’m not saying that parents of oops babies are somehow worse. Not at all! I AM saying that I think every decision to death…even if it’s just choosing between a ponytail or a bun. I would not have dealt well with a surprise person growing inside of me. I would like to think I would have risen to the occasion, but who knows for sure? Even with my parental over-thinking, I’m probably going to end up with three adult children who have a healthy relationship with a therapist, so I shudder to think how messed up our kid would have been if we had to make so many first decisions by the seat of our pants because we went into parenting by accident instead of by design. So thanks again, Trojan Man!
Until next week, dear reader…