So, there’s the tantrums. And the screaming. The “Mine!”s and the “No!”s. The bazillion toys with annoying musical themes. There’s the feeding and the changing and more feeding and more changing. There’s the blowouts and the spit up and the adult-type vomit that begins at a much earlier age than you would expect. There’s the cleaning food off the walls and off the floor, out of the crevices of the couch, and strewn across every square inch of the car. There’s the wiping of snot off of faces, off of walls, off of everything. There’s the cost. Of formula. Of food. Of daycare. Of clothes. Of parties. Of braces. Of college. Of cars. Of housing. Of weddings. There’s the “Don’t lick the window!”s and the “We do not eat cat hair!”s and the “We don’t pee on the dresser!”s. And, for the love of all that is holy, there is the LACK OF SLEEP. And I hear it doesn’t get any easier when the kids get older. Maybe they don’t wake you with their cries, or their morning renditions of Elmo’s Song, but they still wake you, with the worries. Late teen/early twenty-somethings doing God-knows-what with God-knows-who on a college campus. The impending insomnia tires me out even more than the current insomnia does.
That’s what really scares me. The exhaustion.
But, there’s the cuddles. And the “Look at that!”s and the gasps of awe at observing something new, the quirky insights and the questions that make you think, even though they came out of the mouth of a human being that has been around for a shorter number of years than my current smart phone. There’s the laughter and the silliness and the finding happiness in the little things, every single day. There’s the joy that exists in me, that is multiplied exponentially when I see the same joy exhibited by them. There’s the comfort in the feeling of being a part of a whole. There’s the learning what’s important, from those teeny-tiny monsters, those miniature Buddhas-with-attitudes. There’s the being ridiculously happy just from watching them be themselves.
That’s what really scares me. Missing learning and growing from a unique perspective, missing another eye-opening lesson about what life is really all about.
Now that I have two little peanuts, who are similar in the important ways, but who are already oh-so different in every other way, it makes me mourn for who else could have been. It makes me wonder who else could still be.