This Parenting Moment of Chaos and Bliss


This morning my clock radio went off at 7am with the morning news.

It was not good news, given the current state of planet Earth: the political climate of North America, the atrocities children face overseas, and the overbookings of certain (idiotic) American Airlines. But, I had things to accomplish. So, I tuned everything outside our home out—got up, brushed my teeth, and ran down a mental list of everything I had to do to get the hellions out the door for school.

Blare some music: for some reason they’re obsessed with waking up to Centuries, by Fall Out Boy.

Get breakfast ready, make them actually eat it, watch the middle one brush his teeth (otherwise he won’t), make lunches, ensure the little one is wearing underwear, and pack a lunch the older one will eat, because he is, *insert eyeroll* just so tired of eating sandwiches.

But a funny thing happened while making said lunches. The little one looked at me and asked, “Mommy, did you hear the birds tweeting this morning?”

And in that moment I realized I had. I just hadn’t taken the time to notice them.

Living in the Maritimes, we face long cool winters, often with obscene amounts of snow. The songbirds migrate to hang out with this as$#@le I know my friend who (constantly) brags about year-round AWESOME weather in Florida, and we’re left with crows big enough to steal your baby. 1n22x6The skies are ALWAYS grey. Now, I’m not a fan of winter in any way, shape, or form. It’s something I try to live through to get to the glorious seven weeks of summer we here on Prince Edward Island are blessed with, amid forty-four weeks I could do without.

At the littlest hellion’s behest, I opened the window.

Sure enough, it was warm outside. The sun was shining. There were fu%$@ng BIRDS in the tree overlooking my deck.

The moment the hellions were out the door and on their way to school, I dug my sports bra out of the very back of my dresser. I shook the dust out. I didn’t have to shake the dust out of my sweatpants, because let’s face it, I’m a mom. I wear those every day. yufgvI found my runners, and I went for a run.

It’s been TWO YEARS since I went for a run. My body did not like it. But, my soul did. I went without music. I listened to the birds in the trees and felt the sun on my face. I had to slow to a walk at the halfway point because of a sore ankle and aching hip, but even then I enjoyed every minute.

Would I have finally noticed the “tweeting” birds if the littlest hellion hadn’t pointed them out this morning? I don’t know. Probably. But there’s something about the way he said it–the pure joy in his face at the discovery that the birds had returned–that infused itself into my very soul. I was able to enjoy their presence the way I should, to just relax and be grateful they’d come back.

And maybe that’s why tired-eyed, spit-up wearing, sport-chauffeuring parents often nag unrestricted, sparkly-souled, bushy-tailed, non-parents to have kids.

20170410_162819.jpgHaving children is the hardest thing anyone will ever have to do. There are sleepless nights YEARS that can suck the soul right out of your body. There’s vomit. There’s crying, dirty diapers, sibling rivalry, pen on the furniture, paint on the walls, fights about parenting methods with your partner, phone calls from teachers, and elderly women in parks berating you for not dressing your child properly for the weather.

But there are also moments like these, where your child encourages you to stop, to take a moment to experience the world as they do—through their little eyes and ears—and see beyond the chaos . . . into these little slices of bliss.

 

38 thoughts on “This Parenting Moment of Chaos and Bliss

  1. A wonderful lesson taught by a child. The world does seem on the edge of chaos lately, but to your point, there is also abundant beauty all around us. I’m in New England and I’ve had it with gloomy and cold weather. I don’t know how you tolerate it up north!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Children are soul-refillers. If it weren’t for them, we adults would cease to exist in the world as we know it. We’d perish into the dull, unchaotic, lifeless world we think we want. The peace and quiet we think we desire will be here soon enough, replaced as the babies grow up, the kids leave to go to college or work or marry, and the deafening silence of solitude and emptiness caves in our fantasy.

    Thank God they occasionally remind us of that. How much we are needed and loved, but also how much joy there is in the discovery of life as seen through a child’s eyes. It brings a tear to my eye every time.

    As you did here.

    And BTW, Florida fucking rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww! I miss those days when my kids were young… sometimes! 😄

    When my now twenty-five-year-old daughter was about eight, she looked around the church sanctuary a few moments before service began then asked me, “Mommy, why isn’t anyone smiling?” Before I could respond – with an answer I didn’t have – she quickly added, “I’m going to make some of them smile.”

    And she did.

    Children can be our best examples if we pay attention. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yeah, every now and then my two bundles of joy incarnate and reasons for living occasionally remind me why I don’t always use a sarcastic tone of voice when I describe them thusly as well. I’m glad you were able to go out and enjoy the weather. For what it is worth, I find Florida to be too hot for my blood much of the year. In my opinion, there is just something wrong about wearing shorts and short sleeves over Thanksgiving.

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  5. One day, well in to the future, you will hear a baby cry somewhere in the night and you’ll roll over and go to sleep. Let the parents take care of your grandchildren! Grandchildren – all of the joy, none of the responsibility!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A long story. My son (aged around 5) was sitting with his friend watching TV and my daughter (aged about 3) came into the room wrapped in a towel after her bath. My daughter joined the boys watching the TV and, whilst watching, she did (as children do) started touching her genitalia. My son’s friend noticed this and told her to stop touching herself because it was, as he put it, disgusting. He then turned to my son and said…”you know what she’s doing of course? She’s playing with her penis!” Out of the mouths of babes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautifully written. I noticed the birds on a few mornings here in Edmonton, just this month. It’s been a very grey year, which is unusual for this area, but we’ve had a few grey years now. I despise winter, but it’s even sadder when there is no sun, week after week, except for the very rare day when it makes an appearance between two and three in the afternoon, when I’m stuck at work.

    I stay sane by noticing the little things, like song birds actually singing rather than magpies squawking interminably, and buds beginning to crack in spite of the chilly, grey weather, but it’s amazing how often I forget to let these pleasant things fill me up and lift my spirits. I only realize this when I’m around the kids and grand kids. The kids are young adults ready to take on the world with a fury; the grand kids are preschoolers who find wonder in everything. Kids’ spirits remind us that life is more than work and drudgery. (Also why I post “photo posts” from time to time.) Kids wake up our souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. First, I’m so glad that spring is finally making an appearance here in the Maritimes. It was a long time coming. Second, I’m so glad it was a kidlet who noticed. As frustrating as they can be at times, I always appreciate when they make stop and smell the roses. Or in your case, hear the birds singing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There are days where I miss that little hellion you are talking about. Our 16 y/o is the eye rolling, sigh having, “OMG STOP” kind of girl who once wasn’t this way. However, more than once, we’ve stopped to doing something because she was the one who noticed.

    I miss those days.

    The birds returned here to northeast Iowa about three weeks ago. It was a welcome chaos outside! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I got six of ’em, 7-17, and it does get easier. Up until last year, I schooled them all at home. I finally realized two things: I wasn’t getting any writing done and they weren’t learning anything beyond 8th grade math (I stink at math–if only English, History and Art were the only requirements…) I can’t believe how quiet the house is during the day. And, if my writing is going poorly, how much I miss the distraction the kids offer. I loved the article. Reminded me that I need to get outside with my camera.

    Like

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