Raising Tiny Humans
In so many ways, 10 months can seem like an impossibly long time. It is a distance that can seem too far. It may feel as if it will never come. That is, until it does. This was pregnancy for me. It was impossibly long, unending, and yet it was not enough time. I was not ready. "You won't ever be ready for kids," they'll tell you. "The timing won't ever be right," they'll say. And they are all right. Certainly there are better moments than others to bring a child into this world, but sometimes that decision is made when we aren't so sure about it.
The birth of a child is paradoxical. A new life enters the world--a person. I quite literally grew two humans inside of my body. I birthed them. And it is easy to fail to see that the birth of a child is also the birth of a mother and parent. This is an identity that leaves scars. Traces of motherhood steep into so many aspects of life. And then there is the paradox. It is also the death of who you used to be (in many way, but not all...) and that is a complicated loss that some mourn while others just let go, move on.
I always saw myself as a mother. As far back into my memory as I can dig it was a given that I would have children. I would be a damn good mom too--until I felt that I am not. Because we are all doing the best we can, but some often that does not feel like quite enough. You give so much of yourself to parenthood, but the pressure to give more feels like a constant. We're all trudging through while also floating on by with ease. The hours are so very long--the nights sometimes feel endless--but the days, months, and years rush by. They often feel short and fleeting.
The beauty of being a parent is that there is always another day. Another moment. Another hour. They're expected, but not promised, so we try again. We can hit reset. We all strive to be the best version of ourselves, but who are we fooling? We cannot define best as a thing you reach and then achieve and move on from. It is a place we visit, but we most certainly do not live there.
We all falter and fail, but just as I hope to teach my children, we have to know that what counts is what we do next. How do we stand back up? What do we do when things feel like they're too much? What do we do when we know we need to correct course? The answer is always changing. The target is a moving one. That's what makes parenting the adventure it is.
As I watch my two sons grow, learn, and change I can only hope to do my best in each moment. They deserve so much. I want to give them all of they desire, but what good what do for them? They must work towards something too. We can't do it all for them, though often parents try.
The world will dish out many trials and tribulations. There will be tears and pain. There will be smiles and joy. It's all a mess of delightful disasters. I can only hope to raise the best tiny humans I can, one beautiful mistake (and success) at a time.