Monday, May 19, 2008

Mommy diaries: mommy tial-run

Colin & Aunt SarahFifty nine hours, sixteen meals, five night-night times, and 10,000 “keep your feet on the floor”s later, my nephew and I survived and are still in one piece.

I’ve babysat my 14-month-old nephew before, and I hang out and with him every chance I can get. But this past weekend marked a first – for all of us. Mama and Dada took their first weekend trip together, leaving the little man in his trusty Aunt and Uncle’s hands for three whole days.

Sure it was fun. We took him to the park, went for walks, splashed in the water fountain (yes, wearing our clothes), rode a train, ventured out to dinner, and played countless games of chase and tickle. He’s the happiest little booger I’ve ever been around, so fun was never really in question.

What I wasn’t expecting, however, was the new bond I would form with this little person and the stronger love I would feel for him after what I thought would be a long, taxing, and trying weekend of being thrown into full-time mommyhood.

If only I had a dollar for every time a parent has admitted to me that it’s all very tiring, but then quickly added that it’s also all very worth it, I would be a rich woman. A rich woman who laid in bed that night with her husband, thankful to be quietly together, alone, and functioning daily on a flexible schedule with only ourselves to worry about.

I think you never really believe those words until you actually are a parent yourself. And a few days as a toddler’s caregiver hardly scrapes the surface of what it means to be a parent. But this weekend at least gave me a little glimpse into that world and I’m starting to see the light.

For every ounce of work, energy, and patience you pour out each day, 10 ounces of hugs, slobbery kisses, and pure untainted love are thrown right back at you. No matter how rough a day at work or how foul your mood, there’s an innocent little ball of sunshine underfoot keeping your reality in check and reminding you what’s really important in life – love, family, and true happiness.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty beat and plan to eat, nap, and play on my own time today. But when the time is finally right to expand the Brown brood outside of low-maintenance kitty children, I feel more prepared and far less afraid of the adventure that is parenting.

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