I GET TO BE THE ONE

But even harder work, is parenting alone- whether you are physically solo flying or just don’t have the emotional support of a co-parent. Without a partner for the journey, even the most energetic of us can be left feeling completely sapped of every life breathing element within us. We may find ourselves alone for an hour, a day, a week, or even longer… Whatever the duration- baseline honesty- parenting alone can be utterly exhausting, and at times it can make you feel like you’ve been sucked right in and promptly spat out on the sidewalk again… Somehow, it just feels better to have one more pair of hands, one more set of eyes, and someone to walk this rollercoaster journey alongside us.

My house falls directly in line with the flight path, and every few hours we hear the landing gear maneuvering, whilst planes on their ascent or descent fly over the rooftop. Admittedly, there are days, that for no reason other than feeling the exhaustion of the everyday rush of life- from the 6am hurtling out of bed, glancing longingly at the pillow and looking forward to reuniting with it later, until the 10pm duvet drop again- that I wonder where the occupants of these flights may be headed, and I fantasize about being one of them.

One morning a few weeks ago whilst hurriedly brushing my teeth en route out the front door, during one of my solo parenting stints, I heard the usual 6:45am plane roaring overhead and found myself longing to escape from life’s responsibilities, just for a brief moment…

I adore my children, and I absolutely love parenting, but I don’t think that I would be completely human, if I didn’t sometimes delight in the idea of being less responsible, only choosing dinner for myself, only worrying about getting myself into bed, not having to plan my schedule around school drop offs and raced pick ups, not having to intervene when a toy has been flung or a toe has been accidentally trodden upon, having the opportunity to sleep until 8am (Yes, imagine that!)….and actually just getting some time… But as parents of underage children, the reality of this happening (apart from the small moments of self-care and ‘Me Time’ we should be reaching for and clutching onto)… is not a very likely scenario!

I was entranced in the thought…But then I heard a call echoing from down the passage… “Mommy…” and I reflected on the richness of the day before…the time I had spent with my children, alongside them in everyday life, the moments we had shared, the excitement, the tears, the laughter, the fun… and I found my soul completely saturated with the joy that comes from the privilege of being in the midst of it all. I took a deep breath, and I could feel a contented smile stretch across what I am sure was a very tired and weary looking face. I realized anew that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, or take the place of any of the passengers on board that plane…

I had life in abundance, I was saturated, I was immersed in love, in joy, and in the excitement of childhood wonder every single day. Plastering scraped toes, wiping tears, listening to giggles erupting from the bath when foam capsules explode into colourful farm animal shapes, reading under-the-blanket bedtime stories with torches, mulberry picking adventures and wiping purple stained faces, lounge nacho floor picnics, top-of-voice car sing-outs, the anticipation of after-dinner Zingo, owl hunts in the starlit garden, playing hide and seek at school pick ups and seeing the obvious place two little legs are sticking out from…bedtime squeezes and voices singing “I love you’s” down the passage….

I GET TO BE THE ONE!

My heart is full, my soul’s vault is overflowing, I am drowning in riches- I have full time access to yes, all the hardships and exhaustions of everyday parenting, but so much more than that… All the delights, the laughter, the opportunities to connect deeply through tears and heartache, the precious moments and the arms around my neck, the kisses, the playground stories, the magic of it all- I AM RICH!

When your children in adulthood reflect on their memory banks, they will feel the warmth of your arms, your presence, your embrace, your nearness, and your just being there. They will feel loved because you have been a part of the everyday aspects that make up the rich, woven tapestry of parenthood. I GET TO BE THE ONE!

Dear Mom, dear Dad- next time you feel like you are crumbling under the weight of exhaustion of everyday parenting, breathe in deeply… and bring to mind the honour, the blessing and the privilege of being in the midst of magic and of such a significant part of the wonder of life. YOU GET TO BE THE ONE! Embrace it!

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