I'm starting to understand. My kids are still little. We haven't hit all the mile stones yet. The talking back is just starting, and the hormones haven't hit. But things are starting to make sense. I'm starting to understand why you did what you did. Why you said what you said.
I understand why you would constantly tell us to not hit the walls with whatever it was we were carrying. It's a pain in the butt to have to wash the walls, or see unnecessary dents and marks; finding the time to actually repair a hole, forget about it.
I understand why you told us to take off our shoes when we went in the house. Trying to keep crumbs off the floor is bad enough, we don't need extra dirt from outside all over the carpet.
I understand why you sometimes yelled at us for not picking up after ourselves. I've attempted to ignore something on the floor and simply walk past it, then in a moment of realization I pause, "I guess I'm the mom now; if I don't pick it up, it will still be sitting here next week." So I bend down, pick it up, and put it away.
I understand why you made us play outside for hours in the afternoon. Not only was it good for us to have fresh air and stretch our imagination, but sometimes you just need some quiet time. When kids are too old for naps, parents have to get creative.
I understand why we had "Sunday Night It' dinners. After a long week, you didn't feel like cooking. So Sunday Nighting It was your way of teaching us not only to have a little independence and fend for ourselves, but also to give yourself a well deserved night off.
I understand why I see pictures and think, "Why in the world did you let me wear that?" Sometimes, it's just not worth the fight. "Sure, wear the flower pants with that shirt. Put on those mismatch socks and out of season sandals. Just please, Get. In. The. Car."
I understand why you got upset when you couldn't find the scotch tape, or the scissors, because once again, someone didn't put them away.
I understand why we were always being told to turn off the lights when we left a room, and put the toilet seat down when we were done in the bathroom, and for the love of all things, if you use the last of the toilet paper, put a new roll on! Life is expensive, and sometimes, you just don't want to see an open toilet when you walk in the door, or an empty roll when you need it most. Be considerate to the next person!
I understand why you felt like you lived in the laundry room, and simply worked on a conveyor belt.
I get it, it's exhausting. All of it. However, in the midst of all of that, I'm beginning to understand why you did the other things too. The fun things. The little things. The special things.
I understand why you told us M&M's healed sunburn.
I understand why sometimes we went around the block, just so we could drive over the big hill.
I understand why we had "Backwards Dinners" and stopped to get ice cream before dinner.
I understand why you watched every roller blade dance routine we could come up with.
I understand why you took us on a 14 hour road trip by yourself, to see your parents at the other end.
I understand why you prayed with us every night before bed.
I understand why you always said, "I love you" when you hung up the phone.
I understand how you can pray the clocks fast forward and bedtime comes quickly, then be sitting on the couch in silence missing your little monsters.
I get it. I haven't hit every milestone yet. We are still in the midst of the journey. But, I'm starting to understand. Being a mom is hard. Sometimes we just want a little quiet time. A little help. A little recognition. But, being a mom is also amazing. We get a front row seat to watch our kids' eyes light up over something that seems so small to us. To let them share in the little secrets of the healing powers of M&Ms. To watch from the sidelines as they accomplish something new.
It's hard to be a mom. It's amazing to be a mom. We do what we do to survive. To try to teach them to be kind and humble. To put a smile on their face whenever we can. We do what we do. We say what we say. It's doing our best with what we are given.
Thank you for everything you did and said.
I'm finally getting it. I'm finally starting to understand.