Thursday, October 23, 2008

Parenthood

"No one is ever ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you've got, say "Oh, my gosh," and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one that you should not drop."
from Love Walked In by Maria de los Santos


This sentence from one of my book club books jumped off the page and right into my heart. IT'S SO TRUE! I remember before we had kids, trying to plan it all out. When would be the perfect time to start a family? What is the perfect amount of time between siblings? Get pregnant right after we get married? Or have a few years to ourselves? Should we wait until we own a house, save more money? Wait until after we travel together, or until after we learn more about what we're getting into? When, When, When?

I was so ready to start a family when we did. So ready to become a mom. To begin this adventure with Matt called Parenthood. But the reality of it is - you never quite know what it is you are getting into! You read the books, you make the lists, other parents try to tell you what lies ahead. But no matter how much you plan, save, research, read and learn...you are not prepared for the impact this tiny thing creates.

Kids turn the world you are living in upside down. And it isn't until they are living and breathing and cradled in your sleep deprived arms that you begin to understand all the cliches, all the warnings, all the things your friends with kids had tried to explain. You begin to understand that you weren't ready. That you were caught off guard. This hazy mire of yellow poop and sour spit up, sleepless nights and showerless days, wasn't exactly what you imagined when you chose to become a parent.

Parenthood chooses you. And the juggling begins. Because even when you are overwhelmed and wondering when it is exactly you got on this ride, you recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is one you should not drop. This little one is the embodiment of hope and joy and love and goodness. And you want to be good too. Be your best. For them.

Suddenly things like faith, organic food and retirement become pressing concerns on your to-do list. While others like pedicures, martinis and Vegas weekends fall away. You begin reading Dr. Sears and the Bible as opposed to Dr. Phil and InStyle. Dinner out goes from candlelight and vino to chicken nuggets and vinyl booths. But it's good. A learning process of trial and error, growing as you go, and forgiveness all wrapped up in one! It's a loving process, really. Thankfully one that both you, your husband, and your baby are going through at the same time.

Yes, kids turn your world upside down. But it's a turn for the better I must say. Because really- what is a life made up of martinis and Vegas weekends? Is all you really need to know found in between the covers of InStyle? For me, NO. For me, there is nothing I would rather do then keep my three balls high in the air. Somewhere in this busy, busy circus act - I have found my stride. And now, over 5 years into it, I can confidently, knowingly say "I am ready. I choose Parenthood."

(And who wouldn't, knowing you end up with these three?!)

5 comments:

Aubs said...

Wow Erin! Sometimes i wish i could tell you my thoughts and have you write them out because you have such an AMAZING gift for writing!! This was so beautifully written and couldn't be truer! Parenthood is challenging, tiring, thankless at times but in the eternal perspective there is NOTHING i would rather be doing with these precious years of life!
Thanks for sharing this today!

Brooke* said...

Tears are rolling down my cheeks Erin...It is so true, "parenthood chooses you." I am soo happy it chose me!

LauraC said...

Gorgeous thoughts to read this morning. I often think that about twins, that they chose me.

Jennifer said...

Erin, this post could not have come at a better time. I have had an icky day and just feel so short on patience. I am finding that I am just easily frustrated today. The kids are sleeping now, and to read this at this moment, was just what I needed. Thanks for being so inspiring to myself and others!

Sorry if this is posted twice-I tried it and it gave me an error message :)

Libby said...

Beautifully written sentiments that I think every mother can identify with. I'm putting that book on my library list, on the off chance I ever have time to read more than 3 pages of a magazine ever again.

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