Baby book it: The more things change, the more they stay the same

Motherhood can be isolating and lonely and frustrating – yet at the same time and maybe with a bit of perspective – the best thing ever and most importantly, HILARIOUS.

My little mama recently sent me a package in the mail.  She’d found my baby book – the one she put together about me.  I got such a kick out of reading what she had HAND WRITTEN, that it gave me chills.

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Right there, in her handwriting – the most distinct handwriting that I would recognize put up against anyone else’s in the world – I found encouragement, hope, frustration, laughter and a feeling of connection that spanned the course of 40 years.

She had so many of the same feelings that I have right now with two 2.5 year olds.  Granted, she had a newborn and me at the time, and while she didn’t write all of her feelings down, I could tell.  I could read between the lines when she spoke of potty training (plastic training pants, anyone?) and me talking back and being a typical 2.5 year old.  Of me “adjusting” to having a new baby brother (I WAS NOT HAPPY) and of dealings with the public and with relatives.  It was all right there.  Of her all encompassing love and care for us.  It IS all right there.  In writing.

Much like I have written so much down about these babies and our experience, what we find when share is that we are absolutely not alone in our misery.  I MEAN HAPPINESS.  You know what I mean.  Parenting is hard.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The most important thing I keep reminding myself and my husband of lately is that we can’t take any of their not so likable behavior personally.  They are 2.5 years old.  If we start thinking this is about us, we will be crumpled in a corner all the time.  This is them being 2.5 and all that goes with that.  We are far from the first parents to have kids this age and as everyone can attest, it can be trying.  But it is also equally wonderful.  We are not the first nor the last to experience this phenomenon.

What I realized as I read these pages she sent is that this stuff never really changes all that much.   It’s complicated and funny and sad and challenging and absolutely awesome. Always has been and always will be. Parenting.

It really has little to do with how we feed our babies or how we diaper our babies even how we discipline our babies. What it’s really about is the connection.  The emotions.  We are all so similar and that never changes. It is how we love on our babies.  How we need to love on each other.

It’s about tidbits like this that I never ever want to forget.  How when I’m cutting their hair, they both want me to cut their hair and pay attention to the other one.  They get a sucker if they sit still and wait and don’t put their hands up by the scissors.  They do a really good job lately.

As I cut my girl’s hair, she giggles and says, “DAS TICKLES MAMA.” in a voice that will haunt me in the very best way until I die.
When I put her down, my boy then says, “OOOOOH BEBE.  SO NICE HAIR BEBE.”  To which she smiles and says, “Danks Gah.  ME SO CUTE.”
When I finish with his he gets down and says, “ME SO HANDSOME, MAMA.”  Yes you are buddy.  Yes you are.

I’ll leave you with a golden nugget from my mama’s baby book about me – quite appropriate in light of certain events.

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At 3 – said this Thanksgiving pray at Grammy’s dinner table – Dear God, Thanks for making me healthy, thanks for making me gay, thanks for all our family on this Thanksgiving Day. Amen.

And that, my friends, is parenting in a nutshell.  The so incredibly frustrating sometimes you need a minute to cry in the bathroom to the sweet, the funny, the gratitude and all the trying not to laugh at inappropriate things our kids do and say.  It’s ours for the taking on a daily basis.  What in the world could be better than that.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

May we always find the gratitude for all of it.  May we always remember that this too shall pass, even when that’s really irritating to hear.  May we never take it for granted as we know we are guaranteed nothing and this is exactly what we signed up for and we are so thankful for it all.  May we always remember that we are not alone.  Chances are someone two doors down or a phone call away is feeling exactly the same way you are right now.  Reach out and talk about it.  It helps.  And then I’ll bet you can find something to laugh about too.  These kids are endless entertainment.  May we always pay attention and may we always remember to write this shit down.

See also – You are doing a really good job.

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