I’m Grateful For…
… a lot of things in my life but tonight, I’m particularly grateful for the incredible day I had with my two little girls.
‘I’…. just had a day without bedlam! I still can’t quite believe it. No one had a crying fit. No one was hurt. Nothing was broken. And I survived a trip to West Edmonton Mall with two babies in tow! Oh, and I even squeezed in a warm shower. If you’re a parent, you know that’s like conquering Mount Everest. Normally, someone’s always crying (myself included), and I’m just a phone call away from checking into the nut house.
Tonight was the perfect ending to a virtually perfect day. When I was done reading to Emmanuelle, she looked up at me and said “dodo Maman” (bed time mommy). Then she touched my cheek and said “bye bye Maman.” (Huh? Who was this child?! She used to cry for hours when it was time for bed!)
Those sweet simple words just made my heart explode! She sounded so grown up and independent… like she didn’t need me anymore. It got me thinking that one day she actually won’t. It was one of those small, seemingly insignificant moments that really hit home. Another reminder of how fast time flies, how quickly they grow up and how important it is to be present in life, even through the hard days.
When I put her down in her crib, she rolled on her side and popped a thumb in her mouth. The second I closed the door behind me, I burst into tears… like a giant baby, holding my head in my hands. My heart was full, but also slightly broken.
I felt a disproportionate amount of guilt for trying to rush her bedtime routine. Like it was more important to get house stuff done than to spend time with her. But all of a sudden, the piles of laundry and the mountain of dishes didn’t seem to matter. All I wanted to do was freeze time and hold her tight.
I also felt remorseful for allowing myself to get incredibly frustrated and impatient with the kids most days; for counting down the hours until their bed time most nights; and for wishing away this difficult period in our lives.
Yesterday was one of those very difficult days.
I was that crazy woman, doing laps in her car in the neighbourhood… desperate to get Amélie to sleep.
I was drowning. I was suffocating. When she finally passed out, I just sat in the driveway, with the car still running, and tears running down my face. It was all coming out. I was so wound up before jumping in the driver’s seat. Amélie had been a fussy, gassy insomniac. Emmanuelle was clingy, whiny and defiant. And let’s be honest, I haven’t been the most sane, well-rested person these days. This was a really REALLY bad day for all of us, and it didn’t get any better.
That’s what’s messed up about being a parent; the emotional roller coaster you are forever trapped on. So many highs and lows. One day, your kids make your heart grow three sizes. The next, you’re convinced having them was the worst decision of your life.
Then, with just one super cute look, gesture or phrase… they wipe the slate clean and give you the inner strength you need to do it all over again the next day.
And for that, I am thankful. Raising kids is the hardest job in the world, but I would not change a single thing about the crazy, stressful, overwhelming, tiring, amazing, rewarding journey that is parenthood. On this Thanksgiving weekend, I am extremely grateful for everything our little girls bring to our lives. The good, the bad AND the ugly.
On that note, gotta go. It’s 1:40am, baby is going bananas and there’s spit-up on the carpet!!