After writing my recent post on why I'm not going to have anymore children, ("Ten Reasons Why I'm Done Having Children"), I received a particular comment that revved up a train of thought, and inspired this post in response.
I had basically said that this baby factory is henceforth closed, due to my experience with the many annoyances of raising children. There are many other reasons that weren't included, because I was trying to touch on the more humorous topics that most parents could relate to. I didn't want to get too serious by talking about the medical condition that I suffer during pregnancy, that has the potential to seriously endanger my health, and possibly mine or my child's life. I didn't want to get controversial and discuss my struggle with PTSD related anxiety and depression, that can sometimes interfere with being a hands on, plugged in parent. Maybe some other time.
Right now, I want to offer you my ten (out of the million) reasons why all this suffering is so very worth it in the end:
1) The deep and soulful experience it is to be able to say to another person, "I knew you before you were born, before your heart ever even began to beat. Before you had blood, or your very first thought. I knew you when you were still just a tiny little piece of myself."
2) Those wondrous moments when I could pinpoint the exact nano-second when a realization has been made in their tiny little brains. You can actually see the synapses taking place ... the epiphany in their eyes, when they've discovered that their hands are their own ... or that they can control a sound.
3) The never ending stream of contagious giggles, for no more reason than I've crossed my eyes, or stuck out my tongue. Or for reasons that they don't even understand, they only know it feels good (for the both of us). Those giggles soon grow into chuckles, and then LMAOs. They're still just as enjoyable, as long as we share them, together.
4) The times when I have a headache, a twisted ankle, the flu, or some other illness or injury that keeps me off of my feet for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and any one of my children pops into the doorway, with sympathy and compassion, to ask if there's anything that they do for me. The heating pad? A glass of tea? A snuggle?
5) The strange sense of pride I feel, when my teenage son completely cracks me up ... not with some ridiculous or juvenile slapstick humor ... but with a timely, well placed, sarcastic quip that's relevant to the conversation or situation.
6) The more understandable sort of pride that swells in my heart, when my teenage daughter and I have spent an hour discussing the pivotal moments in colonial American history... or maybe the various interpretations of a popular song lyric. A real, intellectual conversation, where we both walk away having learned something new. She, something academic or philosophical... and I, something about her.
7) When my ten year old princess comes down the stairs in one of her many favorite dresses, with her long golden hair pulled away of her face, and her wide smile of uneven big and little teeth. She's just the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in all my years, and I just can't imagine what I may have done to deserve the miraculous gift that she is.
8) The day that I had to draw on every ounce of my willpower, and release my daughter from an embrace that I never wanted to end, and then watch her drive away with her Navy recruiter, to catch that bus to Chicago, for basic training. Pride and heartbreak is an odd combination, that leaves a strange taste in your soul.
9) When that very same daughter, who two years earlier, couldn't do the dishes because her nails were wet... who had completely forgotten how to read a clock, conveniently right around curfew... humbly came to me for advice on matters of marital bliss. If only she could've seen the smirk on my face, through the phone.
10) The day that my daughter and son-in-law drove from TX to NC to place my baby grandson in my arms for the first time. I looked down at him and wept. He looked up at me, and screamed his little head off! LOL. But later, as he slept, I gazed upon this new little leaf on our family tree. This new generation that would carry on our lengthy ancestral line, that descended from great Kings and Queens of Europe. I await the wondrous things he might accomplish in his lifetime, but in the meantime, I only hope that he brings to his mother, all the things she brought to me! (i.e. joy and insanity).