I must have been reading one too many relationship articles via my Twitter feed, because last night before drifting off to sleep, I suddenly asked my husband:
“What was the low point and the high point of your day?”
Surprisingly enough, John seemed more than happy to answer my question, and then asked me the same right back.
Our answers could not have been any more different.
John’s low point had to do with work. And his high point was work-related (or at least money-related), as well.
I told him my low point was when our 3-month-old baby, Naomi, was crying inconsolably for what seemed like forever, and I couldn’t figure out why.
My high point was when our 5-year-old son, Jacob, completed his collection of 20 stickers, representing 20 (non-consecutive) days of good behavior, which meant we would be taking him to the toy store so that he could pick a prize. Jacob was soooo happy and excited and proud of himself that I felt myself tearing up.
My answers surprised my husband. He was like, “Really, those are your high and low points?” And then “oh, did you stay home today?”
Nope, I had gone to work and had a full work day, actually. Some of my work day was good and some of it not so good. But none of it came close to the effect my kids had on me. When they’re happy, I’m happy. When they’re sad, I’m a wreck. Before becoming a mom, I didn’t realize how much control my kids would have over me, how I feel every minute of every day. But this is the way it is, and it is really scary.
One day instead of kisses on the lips, I’ll get a quick kiss on the cheek instead, and and then maybe no more kisses except on my birthday. Eventually they’ll stop wanting to hold my hand, too.
And when they turn into teenagers, I just know we’re gonna have our share of fights. I know because that’s the way I was with my mom. They’ll think I don’t understand them at all, that they can’t talk to me, or that I don’t care — these people who I made out with 39 times a day when they were infants. Oh God, what will I do then? I will die.
John thinks I’m being overly dramatic but this is the way I feel. Everyday I feel torn between wanting them to grow bigger so I can finally sleep as long as I want, and wanting them to stay little so they always want to be with me. Being a parent isn’t just happiness, it’s sadness too. The days are long but the years are short.