I count every hug and kiss and blessing.
Except when I don't.
Except when I'm counting
my forehead wrinkles,
the length and depth of my under eye bags,
my thanks-to-three-pregnancies stretch marks,
how many times I've had to
fix the blankets and the day pillows,
clean up dirty socks,
put shoes and toys away
wash, dry, fold, repeat
and cook and clean and -effing cook and clean again.
Which is often.
Too often, if I'm being honest, which each of us always should be.
Because when a parent goes around touting the smooth peaches and cream that is their life and how "it's all so delicious,"
they turn off the rest of us who haven't had the easiest time swallowing the all-encompassing, uber-exhausting, what-it-means-to-be-a-parent-and-a[working]adult pill.
And don't tell me, "You signed up for this."
And I would again, A MILLION TIMES OVER.
I don't regret it for a second because having and raising a child
IS JUST THAT AMAZING.
It's just that in addition to being amazing,
it's a lot of fudgin' work.
Soul-housing, heart-beating work that requires my everloving time and attention, which is why I don't always count every hug and kiss and blessing.
Because, on occasion, I'm counted out.
And yes, that includes every time in the day, I've commanded to any of my brood, that "If you don't ______ by the count of three, then ________."
Listen, I wanna be more "present in the moment" and unconditionally grateful. But,
at this stage of my life,
being in my mid-thirties with three varied-aged kids under the age of 11,
my mood is very much conditional.
That's just a fact, and an embarrassing one perhaps, but a candid one.
It's very much conditional on
how everyone is behaving,
how busy our day is
and how much sass or pushback is being delivered to me on a dirty plate that has yet to be tended to by me or anyone else in the house.
You know what's not conditional, though?
What never will be?
My love for my kids.
AND THEY KNOW THAT.
THEY FEEL IT.