Finding Out

Monday, February 2, 2009

Every parent has thought it.

"Why didn't anyone tell me?!!"

It can be about anything.

For me, it pretty much started a week after I found out I was pregnant with my first. I had seen my mom be horrifically sick throughout her pregnancies. But I went into my first with enough naivety and optimism that it never crossed my mind that I too could be sick enough to not want people to talk about food around me.

On a nearly minutely basis I would wail, "Oh, why didn't anyone tell me how bad it would be?"

I said the same thing about the weight gain, the stretch marks, the ankle swelling, and the inability to sleep.

My mom would only say one thing. "Well, if I told you, would you have ever wanted to have kids?"

Parenthood is pretty much the same way. The crying, the (not)sleeping, the teething, potty-training, terrible twos, sibling rivalry.

Parents who've been through it just smile sympathetically at you as you stand over your child, who is face down and bawling on the floor of the cereal isle.

And we think, "Why didn't anyone tell me?"

But thinking back, everyone did. Okay, no one took me aside, sat me down, and said "Look, this is how it is." (Maybe someone did that for you.) But there were the "Oh, just wait until's." The "Enjoy it while it lasts's." Any many other subtle hints about the difficulties ahead.

On the same note, no one ever tells you about the wonderful moments either.

The first time you feel your baby kick against the inside of your stomach. The bliss of reaching out your arms to hold your world just after he is born. The first smile, the first word, the silly games that he only plays with me. The happy twinge when they say "I love you and you are the best mom ever." The silly words and phrases. The signs of intelligence that make us sure that our child is a prodigy (admit it, we have all had that moment.)

And I think that we don't want anyone to tell us. Good or bad.

Having learned the ups and downs for ourselves makes us feel more proud of both surviving and enjoying. That we are navigating the oceans of parenthood by ourselves. We don't want to think of the difficulties as just run-of-the-mill. We don't want to think of the cute phrases and amazing landmarks as "typical" or "expected." We take pride in our work as parents.

And we want to take all the credit for the outcome.


Salem said...

I hope you take a huge piece home with you too! You already gave the rest of the credit to those who only let you watch them do it on you and the rest of us. LOL

AND, I might add, you and your bundles of joy ARE a large cut above the rest. Go Sister!

dawn said...

I LOVE this post!!