Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. ~Fran Lebowitz
I received an email from someone who said they were really enjoying their children. Simultaneously, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw blissful photos of toddlers and babies with statuses such as I am so lucky to have this little girl, This child makes my day!, Piece of Heaven right here! or something like that.
Pictures of people really enjoying their children. I was forced to look up because baby A was clamoring for me, screaming for milk, and scrunching her face into misery. Bunches of random stuff adorn the floor and kernels of corn were smashed underneath their little table. I thought I am not enjoying my children right now.
I turn the voices off and do things automatically and as I attempt to put my children to sleep, Z kept wandering the house and whining for things, and baby A kept practicing her vocal chords to see how loudly she could shriek MUMMY!, I thought I am still not enjoying my children right now.
But then the other voices come, You should be happy to have children. You should be grateful to have the ability to be able to clean the floor. You should be enjoying your children.
At that point, it is easy to let the voices overwhelm me, to wonder why I am not enjoying my children. But then I came to realize, I will not ever enjoy my children every minute of the day. That is not normal or realistic, at least for me. I enjoy pieces and fragments of them. I am grateful for them, and I’m sure the other happy mothers who enjoy their children agree that honestly not every minute is enjoyable. 24-7 Happiness is but an illusion.
I will enjoy the way Baby A carefully attempts to scoops corn in her mouth. I will enjoy the way Z flits form gluing to cutting to scattering random stuff on our floor. I will not enjoy the messy grime afterwards. I will not enjoy the crying and whining and random sibling squabbles.
I will enjoy the random sister hugs they give each other quietly. I will enjoy the way they can make each other release delightful giggles and chuckles and laughs, that only children are capable of. I will enjoy sticky hugs and gentle coos that last for just a few seconds.
I will not enjoy the sister hug of I-just-slammed-you-on-the-floor-hug-and-will-run-away-before-I-get-in-trouble-hug.
And that is okay.
I will enjoy pieces and fragments, fragments and pieces.