Do you ever have those moments of solace. I know how RARE they are when we have children but I seem to find them in the early mornings during my meditation practice, writing, sipping my perfectly made cappuccino and watching the sun begin to shine on the outside world from my favorite window. My favorite tree outside this window is usually filled with robins and cardinals chirping and singing beautiful songs to me. The leaves have been gone over a week now and red berries fill the baron branches. The world is quiet and peaceful. I am in my cozy chair. The same chair I imagine my 90 year old self in, still waking up early to write and watch the sun begin to wake up the world.
This is why I wake up early. Because as soon as I hear a rustle next door in my boys room I know that there are constant demands and by the time bedtime hits I am still in a whirlwind trying to prep for the next day or simply unwinding with a glass of wine and a book of poetry.
My heart is with the Moms and Dads out there. The happily married and single ones. Parenting is some HARD shit and the most exhausting job in the world. It isn’t the physical exhaustion, it is because we no longer own our hearts.
I had a conversation with a dear friend on the other side of the country a week or so ago. He is raising beautiful girls and they are older. We talked about the difference of challenges in ages of children. We talked about the reason it is HARD is because we LOVE the shit out of them and want the best for them. We want to be their best friend but we also understand the need for role modeling and discipline. We never want to see them fail, hurt, cry, make STUPID teenage decisions, get made fun of or even fall off their bike and scrape their knee.
We understand these things are VITAL to humanity and simply “becoming”.
Failing teaches us to work harder and never give up. We learn lessons. So our children MUST fail.
Getting hurt teaches us to enjoy the simple joys of life because joy and pain are both fleeting.
Crying teaches us that we can release emotions and are stronger for it.
Making STUPID teenage decisions … Well, at least it gives us something funny to talk about when we are older???
Getting made fun of teaches us to be kinder and stick up for each other with more respect.
Falling off your bike and scraping your knee teaches us that every.single.time. we fall, no matter how bad it hurts, we can and MUST get back up and get on the bike. Keep on Keeping on.
To all of you parents out there. Dads and Moms …. I am here with you. In the arena. I am not standing back and judging you from a far.
I am with you surviving on Macaroni and Cheese from the pot that the kids didn’t eat for dinner.
I am here with you at 3 in the morning when someone has a scary dream and needs cuddling which in return means you are up the rest of the night and have to have extra cups of coffee the following day.
I am here with you when you child turns to a demonic creature in less than 2.5 seconds because you said no to buying them Lucky Charms at the grocery store and everyone turns to look because they are now throwing the box across the aisle and then themselves on the ground.
I am there with you giving boo boos magic kisses and looking in closets for monsters before bed.
I am there with you when you want to rip your hair out because your new infant, that you love so much, won’t stop screaming and all you want to do is set them in the crib and put on headphones to drown out the noise.
I am with you when your child pukes all over you in public at a store and you have to make the walk of shame out of the store.
I am with you on the sidelines of the soccer games when your child scores the winning goal and you want to cry because you see the pride in their eyes.
I am there going over sight words and math problems after school, soccer and dinner from McDonalds because frankly you couldn’t stand the thought of cooking anything that evening.
I am with YOU.
I am YOU.
You are ME.
We are in this together.
These children are our future and we are ALL in this together.
The ONLY way to create the world we want is to CREATE that world in our homes and communities.
We belong to each other. No matter our beliefs. No matter if we breast or bottle feed. No matter if we co-sleep until age 10 or have our infants in their own crib the day they get home from the hospital. No matter if we are working mothers and fathers or stay at home working mothers and fathers. No matter if we feed organic, gluten free, soy free or if we just care that some nights everyone has a full belly even if it is cereal for the 4th night in a row. No matter if we all attend church on Sunday or spend the day at the park.
No matter WHAT. We belong to each other.
I am a single mom. My children have SO much love in their life it blows my mind. Their father is an incredible man who equally LOVES the shit out of them. We have family dinners and celebrate everything together. I take care of him and he takes care of me so we can take care of our children. Beyond their father the role models my children are growing up with humble me to the core. My community is of EVERY nationality … Religious belief …. Race …. Political belief …. BUT we ALL raise each other’s children. We stand as one to teach LOVE. Tolerance. Kindness.
Our children are the future. And in my home and in my community we raise our children to be kind. To say sorry. To stick up for one another and have zero tolerance for bullying. We include everyone. Our homes are open doors to each other.
Yes there are still “traditional families” out there. BUT non-traditional families are on the rise if not over half of family life now. Family now means many things and looks many ways. The only thing that matters anymore is that FAMILY equals LOVE.
I am in this with YOU. I am hopeful for the world because I see the rising generation. They are strong. They will be more connected globally than ever before. They ARE kind.
To change the WORLD … Change your HOME.
We are all LOVE.
We are all in this together.
I am you and you are me.
We got this you guys. One Macaroni and Cheese meal at a time. One sticky handprint at a time. We freaking GOT this.
I have HOPE.
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