Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Different Kind of Top Ten

Here's the deal--I LOVE my kids.

I mean, I adore them, I treasure them, I went through h-e-double-hockey-sticks and back to get them, I schedule and prioritize nearly everything else in my life around them, and in every single, conceivable way, they are the center of my universe.

And I've noticed, over years of connecting and bonding with other parents-via-adoption, or women who have struggled with infertility, that we perhaps value our parenting experience a tad more at times, because 1.) it didn't come easily (or quickly), and 2.) we're sensitive to those who are still in the waiting-longing-praying-hoping-waiting-endlessly-waiting stage, and we remember all too well how it felt to hear parents complain about small & stupid little child things as you sit there and think how you would cut off your right arm to have that irritating moment with a child of your very own.

So I have held back as long as I could, but folks--I just can't keep it in any longer.

Yes, I love my kids. In spite of the following.


1.) Whining
2.) Poopy nighttime diapers that spread far beyond the confines of the diaper and cover the jammies, sheets, blankets, pillow (what the heck?!! Were you sleeping with the pillow over the opposite end from your head?), and then get tracked across the bedroom floor, up the stairs, into the bathroom and across the front room before a sibling announces the reason our whole house now reeks of smeared poop.
3.) High-pitched screeching
4.) Tattling
5.) When you finish cleaning up the child in no. 2, along with the floor, the bedding, and scrubbing your hands raw from all the disgusting germ exposure they've just received, hearing a different child announce that he also has a 'messy poopy' and needs Mommy to clean it up.
6.) Whining
7.) Whiny children who whine, beg, and plead for a treat, and when Mommy finally parts with cold, hard cash to obtain said treat, take one bite and decide they don't like it anymore.
8.) Ignoring Mom's command to stay out of the mud, adding to the mud by using the forbidden garden hose, soaking yourself and your brother head to toe which makes you a magnet for grass clippings, leaves, sucker sticks, and assorted other debris--not to mention dirt, which creates even more MUD--and then climbing into Mommy's clean bed when the above-cited activities make you so 'coldy.'
9.) Foregoing all the cute, well-coordinated, and moderately stylish clothes that Mommy buys for you in favor of outfits that little orphan Annie would shun, leading to such a vagabond look that a total stranger in a restaurant would say, "Are all these kids yours? Do you do foster care? Gosh, you'd think the government would at least pay for decent clothes for the poor kids." Just for the record, no--none of my kids were adopted through foster care, and yes, the state does pay for decent clothing for foster kids, and yes, all four little beastie-children are mine. Ratty clothes and all.
10.) Whining.

On days when this particular top ten list is at the forefront and becomes a little overwhelming, there is another little teeny list that saves my children more than they know.

1.) They are SOOOO stinkin' cute.
2.) They are SOOOO stinkin' smart.
3.) They are SOOOO stinkin' mine. For always. For good. And even in their most poopy, whiny, messy glory, I'll always be theirs, too. That's why I did the h-e-double-hockey-sticks stuff to get them here, and why I do the poop-cleaning and headache-surviving now, and why I'll somehow make it through teenage years and driving lessons and dating and college expenses and missions and weddings times four. At the end of the day, it's nice to have four little people who matter to me, and it's nice to matter to those four little people, too. Family = belonging. Forever.

That's even stronger than the smell wafting from the downstairs carpet.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I always find it amazing how one funny or adorable thing they do can suddenly erase all of the whining, pooping, spitting, etc. they did just an hour before. That's powerful stuff if a good laugh with your child can make the other stuff not so bad. That is why God makes them so cute and they, however you come by them, are one of the best blessings ever!