|Russell Orchards, 2014|
She is the absolute center of my everything and Chad's everything. But since she has turned three, life has changed. She has changed; she has become independent and opinionated and completely illogical in a way that the previous three years did not foreshadow. She can literally be unbelievably charming and laughing one minute, and the next minute have thrown herself on the floor in a heap of despair because I told her I don't want to eat the red pepper she dipped in ketchup "just for me."
Apparently this is normal....? I'm not even sure what normal means anymore BUT I see that she is struggling through wanting to be a grown up kid and making her parents let go and choosing her battles in her own way. I get that. But it still blows.
It really does. Especially with a giant belly. And especially while my house is torn apart in preparation for a new bedroom, a new baby, and new bathroom for mommy and daddy (there will be a lock on the door). There is dust and filth everywhere. Oh, and that job and that extended family and those friends...all of them, too.
Oxymoron? These are all amazing, exciting, ridiculously stressful things.
There was one morning last week when getting out the door was particularly awful. It was primarily because Grace's cereal was wet from milk and not dry, like she wanted. I was swallowing comments about kids who don't have food AT ALL. And I was stifling the urge to simultaneously gather Grace up like the frustrated kid she was, rock her in my lap, promise her anything she wanted for the rest of her life and just walk out, shut the door, and go to the movies. Like 3 of them in a row.
Instead, I managed to get her in the car and drive about 6 blocks listening to the same "I want dry special cereal mommy" sentence about 46857 times in that 6 blocks. And then I pulled over and cried. It was 7:36am.
I wish I could say that my crying made Grace stop crying. It didn't.
But it helped me feel normal again--get back to center, somewhat.
Later that day I saw this blog, and I cried again. Hours before, I felt like a sham of a parent, like there was absolutely no way I could handle one of these sensitive, growing, amazing, passionate creatures, much less two of them. But after reading Lisa Sadikman's take on the situation I knew it would, eventually, be okay.
At least, until the next time it's not okay.
And that's okay, too.