One of the great perks of motherhood is the ability to blame many of your personal shortcomings and much of your bad behavior on it.
You’re late to an appointment? Your kids wouldn’t cooperate and get out of the house. You’re really moody and snippy? Your kids wouldn’t sleep and kept you up late last night. You’re out of shape and don’t look like you used to? Yup, you guessed it. It’s those dang kids and that whole pregnancy/childbirth thing. Yes sir, I have heard them all, read them all, and have maybe even done a little of the blame game myself. But with all this “see what my kids have done to me” rhetoric that’s going around, my son reminded me of something else we mothers could blame on our children.
My family and I were walking on a sidewalk on the way to a store. My husband and daughter were in front, and I was behind them with my four-year-old son. He suddenly stopped, let go of my hand, and squatted down. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “Look!” He pointed to the ground with a big smile on his face. “A little ant!” And he screeched. He was so genuinely excited to see this tiny creature, speedily scurrying around on the sidewalk. I didn’t yank his hand, or tell him, “C’mon, let’s go.” I just stood there quietly, watching him watch that ant.
And he did. For a long while.
He crouched down and moved with it, watching and giggling the whole time. He was amazed by something that we all step over (or inadvertently step on) every day of our lives. This most mundane of things was a joyous event for him.
We can blame our kids for a lot of things, not the least of which is reminding us to look at the world with young eyes again, even if for a minute. We can blame our kids for demonstrating that human beings, in their purest state before the world gets a hold of them, are kind and good creatures. We can blame them for the biggest hugs and the softest kisses. We can blame them for loving us no matter how we look, no matter how bad our day at work, no matter what anyone else thinks of us. We can blame them for making us feel like a rock star and the most important person in the world every time we walk through the door.
If there are things we can blame on our kids, one of the greatest has to be reminding us of the wonder and joy in simple, everyday life.
It is true what they say you are never the same after you have kids. Amen to that.