Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You just never know.

You never know how the whole thing is going to turn out.

This job of parenting that so many of us do every single day of our lives.

You just never know. You won't know until it's all over.

But it will never really be over.

You try your best. You pray. You worry. You give it your all.

And then you get back up the next day and you try your best all over again. You cannot give up.

You have your moments of triumph. A little one learns how to walk. Or ride a bike. Or drink from a cup. Or get dressed all on his own. Or she walks through the school doors for the first time.

You see little kindnesses. The kids playing together nicely. A shared toy. A compliment. A brow furrowed in worry when another sibling is hurt.

You have your failures. The kids fight. Or one of them screams, "I HATE YOU! YOU ARE THE WORST MOMMY EVER!" in frustration. Or they whine so much that it irritates you until you think you cannot listen to it for ONE MORE MINUTE or your head will explode. You are, to put it lightly, annoyed. You lose your cool and yell. Your self-doubt consumes your brain one night as you toss and turn, while sleep evades you. You replay the day in your mind and the picture you see is not a pretty one.

And then you get back up the next day and you try your best all over again. You cannot give up.

You have glimpses that perhaps you are doing things right. Despite the setbacks, despite the failures, despite the self-doubt, there are many, many glimpses that perhaps you are raising good, kind, generous, and all-around decent people.

This is your hope.

You see your two middle sons, (who have their many moments when they combine together as well as oil does with water) high-five each other after working together to build a Lego structure. Your heart soars.

You hear your 9-almost-10-year old son, who has decided that he is way too "cool" and too "big" to play with the many toys that litter the playroom floor, complain about being bored. But this time, instead of hearing him complain about how bored he is, you see him doing this:

You see your oh-so-tough guy wearing a pink tutu and playing baby dolls with his 3-year old sister just because. You see her face fill with pure delight as she introduces him to her world of pink and frilly and baby dolls. You know that he would much rather be dunking a basketball on the hoop in the driveway, but instead, he is gingerly changing the clothes on a doll. You see all this, but like animals playing together in the wild, you do not disturb their moment. You hide behind a pillar in your living room, push the "zoom" button on your camera, and snap a picture, forever documenting the moment of sweetness.

And you think to yourself that despite the bad days and the self-doubt, I love this job.


  1. Amen. Well said. And thank goodness for the invention of the zoom lens.

  2. AAAh! That story brought tears to my eyes!!! What a sweet, sweet boy!

  3. How sweet!! Glad you were able to get a picture of such a great moment! You can use it down the road as blackmail too ha ha!

  4. Awesome PIC OF THE DAY, Clare! Snapped a precious one, you did. These are the days....for sure. Wish I could bottle them.

  5. Ok, now don't make me try to run off and have a girl, now! Love that. So sweet. Those kinds of movements are what it's all about. (And btw, you'd best hide that pic lest that boy have words with you someday! :)


Can we talk? Don't be shy. I'd love to hear what you have to say.