I realize that I’ve been discussing the less-rosy side of parenting quite a bit lately. I’m definitely not being even-handed about the parenting experience. There are plenty of days that leave you feeling like you just got assaulted by an almighty 2x4 (my SIL’s phrase), but I have yet to find any other job that can bring moments of pure joy quite like being a parent.
I experienced one of those joy moments earlier this week. We were frolicking among the pollen-producers (I mean, LILACS), and I was doing my best to just BE and ENJOY where we were. It’s part of my new attempt to have more fun. We had a little picnic, and the girls were roaming amongst the lilac bushes when HeyMama decided to roll down the hill. It was a great hill to roll down. She had a blast. So MeToo had to do the same thing. She loved it. She rolled down the hill over and over again, as only little kids can, giggling maniacally. The rolling caught the attention of passer-bys, the elderly Russian ladies who paused to smile and chatter amongst themselves. It was funny, because MeToo couldn’t quite figure out how to roll DOWN the hill, just sideways across it. A gentleman walking with his elderly Russian father stopped to video the goings-on. He asked for my email address and emailed a video clip. I watch it frequently. The joy is contagious.
We get endless moments of joy throughout the day:
· “Mama, I wuv uu.” MeToo presses her face up against mine, grinning from ear to ear.
· Listening to the girls work on an “art project” together, sharing scissors and markers.
· Watching the girls struggle to lug their hand-baskets through the market as they try to help, “Mama, can we get pears? Do we need more peppers?”
· Walking hand-in-hand down the sidewalk.
· Listening to HeyMama narrate a play situation where she needs to take “extra-special care” of Marabelle.
· Listening to MeToo sing along to the soundtrack inside her tiny head.
· Watching the girls react to BestestHusband coming home at the end of the day.
We get moments of joy in the evenings:
· The girls run around the kitchen, chasing each other and giggling.
· And at bedtime, snuggly in their footie jammies, the girls cuddle up to read bedtime stories.
· They say their bedtime prayers so earnestly. “Dear Jesus, thank you for yellow.” “Dear Jesus, please help Mama’s back feel better.”
Every age has come with its own set of small joys:
· Relaxing on the couch with a newborn curled up, napping, on your chest.
· The first newborn smiles.
· Rocking a tired baby to sleep.
· The endless “firsts” of infants: rolling, sitting, pulling up, cruising, standing, walking.
· A little face that lights up when they see you.
I’ve had the pleasure to work in a lot of jobs that allow for satisfaction. But there really is nothing quite like the job of parenting.
What’s on your list of small joys?