brace yourself.

The hardest thing about parenting isn't the fact that you'll rarely sleep in past 7am again, or all night long, or ever. It's not the daily struggle to hide vegetables inside mac n cheese only to have it discovered, ripped out, and thrown on the floor. It's not the lack of a thank you when you take them out for ice cream for having a great first day at school, and then when you explain that you'd appreciate a thank you, they say instead "can we watch a movie?" It's not the confrontation with teachers who communicate poorly with adults but (hopefully) great with kids. It's not the fear of bullies, or the potty training, or the diaper changes, or the vomit on your boobs when you just wanted to go in for a kiss. 

It's having to tell them the truth about the hardest things.

"Yes, sweetheart, you ARE getting a shot today. Actually 3. And they will hurt. But just a little." That's kinda hard. But there's a level of control in it.

"From now on we'll have 2 houses. You get to name them. You get 2 bedrooms! But it won't always be easy and sometimes it will make you sad." Really really hard. But there's control in it, a deliberate decision.

"Oh my! Noah's house is empty. It looks like they moved while we were on vacation." And by the way he now lives far far away. That's really hard. There's no control in it. No more running across the street to play on a whim.

One minute you're delighting in a Christmas day surprise: Santa brought you a kitty on his sleigh! And the next day you're wondering out loud why that kitty is broken, unable to play or walk straight or even purr. And you know it was at the hands of someone abusive. A neighbor. And the vets confirm that he's brain damaged and not going to get better. So tomorrow the kids will come home and Santa's kitty won't be here. Just his empty crate that carried him to the vet and a cleaned out litter box. 

That's the hardest thing. No control over the very beings that you want to protect the most. And instilling in them a legacy of honesty, no matter how painful. Telling them along the way that the kitty is broken, I don't know if he can be fixed and no, Santa can't take him back. And I'm so sorry you've lost so much. There's nothing I can say right now that will make this better. So please just cry. Mommy's crying, too. Pretty hard. 

You can't not reflect on all the other hard realities they've had to face. But you can't escape going forward with the truth. And you cannot prevent hard realities from coming around again. You have no control in that. 

So I'd say brace yourself. But you can't. You can only cry with them.
RIP tamale party. 


Popular Posts