Stella: I love you, Bubba.
James: Daddy, remember when I was little?
Stella: Momma, I lika your scarf. I wear it when I get bigger?
* * * * *
I've been quiet on the kid front lately. No because life has been quiet. QUIET - er, quite - the opposite.
Stella and James have grown into best little friends. I am proud of them. They are good kids, smart monkeys, sweet and wild. I love them more every day. [I am driven more crazy by them every day.] I hear my Mother in my words... everyday. If you don't come here right now.... If you look at me with those eyes... Watch your mouth, young lady... Sigh.
Being a parent is hard. The hardest thing ever? No. I think it's the combo of marriage + work + parenting that makes parenting the hardest job ever. I think everyone underestimates the strain on a marriage - the strain that only children can bring. But you work through it, find time to love the meaning in a solitary afternoon of grocery shopping in peace. And actually pulling off a full time job along with it? It's no wonder I can't remember anything.
For example, I have no idea what time my son and daughter were born. No earthly clue. James was 4am-ish, and Stella was 7pm-ish. That's all I've got. Some mothers might find that deplorable.
Instead, I know these numbers: 1 husband, 2 kids, 14 months apart, 3 loves of my life. Really. Who cares about the rest?
Parenting is work, work, poop, work, small glimmer of cuteness, more work, barf, poop, smile, laugh, poop. It's difficult. No one tells you that.
That quote from the movie with J-Lo, the "Back-Up Plan" always strikes me. A guy on the playground asks another dad about being a parent. His response is: "[Parenting] is awful, awful, awful. Then a small moment happens, that's so magical, and that makes it all worthwhile."
I think that sums it up. Like marriage, like anything worth having... parenting is hard work. Something you have to pour your mind, heart and resources (!) into. Costs money than I EVER would have believed. I am more tired than I ever thought imaginable.
But more sweetness than humanly possible.
Things I love? I love these babies. I love my husband. I appreciate our blessings.
And when sometimes I think otherwise...just from the sheer exhaustion... I stop, close my eyes and imagine life without them. And I always end up in tears and praying for forgiveness for the mere thought.
I love you, J, J and S. I love you even when I forget to say it.