...your huddled parents yearning for a babysitter.
I sat at my 11 years old daughter's volleyball game yesterday and realized that in 9 years I could very well be sitting in the exact same bleacher seat watching my future 11 year old son playing volleyball. I know it's not the PC (Parentally Correct) thing to say, but that thought did not send a bittersweet pang to my heart. It sent a lightening bolt of anxiety to my gut. I'm going to be wading through all of this parenting goo for HOW long?? I know....I chose this. And most of the times I actually feel like I'm pretty good at it. But I would be fibbing all over if I didn't admit that somedays I just want to drive. And drive. And drive. Maybe check into a hotel and order some room service. Watch a movie. I know I'm not alone in this. But lots of "happy mommies" don't like to bring it up.
It's hard, that's all. And, well, parenthood is really quite a commitment unless you're okay with pushing your little birds out of the nest with your foot and hoping they take flight on their own. And I'm tired. AND I miss my creativity that somehow seems to have gone missing with all of the puzzle pieces, Buzz Lightyear's arm, the Cars 2 DVD and pretty much every sock that might actually make a pair. I've heard other parents often say "I can't even remember what life was like before so & so was born." Really? Were you in a coma? Because I can remember what being awake and energetic felt like. I seem to recall having friends and being invited to parties. I can recall what NOT stepping on a miniature stegasaurus in the dark felt like.
A year or so ago, we were at a party (without the kids) and were chatting with a couple we'd just met. Somehow it came up that they, like most of our friends, were not child-rearing people. I don't care about or judge that decision (and clearly sometimes I can be envious of it), but the husband got in my face as we were saying good-byes, shook my hand and blurted "childless by choice!" Excellent. I think about that weird moment from time to time. I said nothing then. But I do work through several retorts in my head every once in a while. Most of them starting with "well gooooood for yoooou...." and end with me crying and saying "you have no idea how hard this is!"
Again...I chose this parenting gig. And because it was a choice, I feel like I can't get all complainery about it. (OR I will write a short blog post about it.) Being your own person is hard enough. Then you go and add a bunch of other people with different personalities and capacities to the mix of responsibility, and I don't know how we all don't have more twitches. It's a little like the X Men with the mutants and the mortals. Instead of having knives come out of my knuckles, I have three kids come out of my minivan. We're still all a bunch of weirdos. Some of us are just attempting to raise little weirdos of our very own.
Time to go hop on the boat again. Hopefully the sway of the waters (read: drive to daycare) will ease me into the evening routine and I'll be reminded why I chose to raise these little castaways. My queasiness over this parenting deal is temporary. I actually do rather enjoy the ride and there is, more than not, a bittersweetness to looking out at the horizon.