A couple of months ago, I was checking the stats on LaughCryCook.com, the blog I share with my mom, and noticed a linkback from Cosmopolitan.com. Wow, did we get a recipe picked up by Cosmo, I wondered. And then I clicked the link and saw the page title, 20 Destructive Babies Who Absolutely Act as Birth Control. I scrolled down, and sure enough, recognized the innocent looking face of #10: The Deceptively Destructive Baby. My son, at about 9 months or so, pulling up on my cabinets in his little onesie with his chunky cottage cheese thighs dimpling out, methodically pulling everything out of my cabinets and drawers as I cook dinner. A very typical "The Day in the Life of a Mom" moment.
First I laughed hysterically. Then I was comforted. Hey, even Cosmo is acknowledging that parenting my son can be HARD.
But then, I realized something. They are missing the point. These are the moments. The moments that make our world a better place. Can you think of any better way to shape a person's character than raising a child that destroys all the comforts of their little self-contained world?
This is why having kids is awesome. Not because they are so cute and adorable. Because they destroy you...in the most beautiful way. They take every self-serving piece of you and turn it toward others. It is impossible to raise decent small children and remain completely selfish. A parent who is doing any parenting MUST grow....because everything about your quiet predictable life will change when a baby arrives. And it will make you wonder, what on earth could I have ever stressed about before this? Why was I tired back then? What did I do with ALL that time to think and be and ponder? How did I ever not know and love this tiny little human in my arms?
And when you have a day without your precious littles, you'll revel in that time alone for a few hours, and then you kind of start feeling like you forgot something, the same feeling when you leave your cellphone or your wallet at home. Uneasy. Even though you still have twenty things on your to-do list, you watch the clock and you anticipate the time when you can go pick up your babies from school or Grandma's. And even when they are tired and crashing from the sugar high Grandma left them with, you are so glad to have them back in your arms, in your car, in your home. You stop feeling like you've forgotten something. You relax a little more, even as they dump spaghetti on their head and you feel like you might scream. You wouldn't change it for the world.
Even on the hardest days, I dread with everything in me, the moment my kids move out, that my days will again fill up with quiet, commotion-less time to be with just me. I know I'll find ways to enjoy my new normal then, but it's hard to imagine what it will be like. And I get fully what older generations mean when they tell me, "Treasure these moments, they are only little once. You'll miss these days," YES! I will. I will miss them, even the messes. I love the messes. I really do. Even as I bend down to pick up another toy, I just love that my floor is dotted with childhood joy.
Destructive babies aren't the reason to avoid having a baby. There are plenty of reasons not to have a baby, but a baby making a giant mess, a child destroying your precious things....that's a reason to have a baby. Because you will learn that no "thing" is actually precious. It's really an essential lesson to learn in this very temporary life of ours. Of course, babies aren't the only way to learn it, but they sure do speed up the process.
So go look at those destructive babies and get to procreating to make this world a better, less self-centered place to live. :)
The Nourished Mama of One of Cosmos Top 20 Destructive Babies