Despite last week's glimmer of hope for Joel and Julia, now we're right back to square one and separation frustrations reach an all-time high. Meanwhile, Drew and Amber continue to be the cutest siblings ever, and Max breaks our hearts into a million tiny pieces once again.
Without acknowledging the steep learning curve, and without putting in place good support systems, the message is that early motherhood is just another everyday task and that caring for a new baby is a natural skill that will come easily.
While I wanted to smother him with kisses this morning he told me, "One kiss is all I need." And so I must figure out a way to make that all I need as well. But on this day -- I feel this need to share all that my 9-year-old boy has taught me.
We make parenting harder for ourselves because we think it should come naturally. We make parenting harder on ourselves because we think the kids are making it hard on us without realizing we are missing some skills that could make it easier.
Yes, I am being played. I know it. But my heart melts EVERY TIME he says I love you. Or I smile ear to ear. Or laugh. He knows how to break my will to discipline. He knows how to soften my anger. He KNOWS! How does he play me, a professional negotiator, who has made grown men beg for mercy?
I am snuggled up with my girls -- the newest and oldest parts of my heart. Grateful for the siblings I have and the one my new baby will grow into. Much like George Bailey, I really do feel like the richest man in town.
"I was never particularly interested in having kids. When friends came over with their kids, I treated them like radioactive material. Tolerable for short periods of time. Prolonged exposure would have unpleasant effects, like hair loss, or inexplicable stains on the sofa."
I think mediocrity is underestimated. I spend a lot of time with mediocrity, and I find its company charming and comforting. In fact, at the age of 53, I might just be the Hester Prynne of average moments, roaming around with a big 'M' on my chest.