Last year, close to when Rex was born, a friend of mine invited us (me and Genevieve) to lunch. We arranged to meet at a restaurant that Genevieve and I went to fairly regularly, after school one day.
I preloaded her. We planned. We discussed what kind of manners we use at restaurants. The usual (long and extensive) routine.
When we got there and ordered, she was as good as gold. She was remarkably well-behaved the entire time we were there, on her best company manners. High fives all around!
At one point, my friend - let's call him Kristoff- leaned over to his intended - we'll call her Anna- and said softly, "See how easy it is? "
I don't think he intended for me to hear him, but I did.
In that moment, all I could think is, "Are you kidding?! EASY?!"
All the hours of "please"s and "thank you"s. All of the discussions, all of the preloading, making sure that she'd gotten all of her wiggles out- but wasn't so tired that she was going to melt down in the middle of the restaurant. And all the other minutiae that have consumed my day-to-day reality.
The 90%-of-the-time challenge for the 10% smooth sailing. (Your percentages may vary.)
But how do you say this without it sounding like having kids (or being a parent) is awful? (Because it's not, obviously.) And there I was, eight and a half months pregnant, about to do it all over again.
The best way I can think of to explain it (a year later) is this: if I was to sit down at the piano and play a complicated piece of music, you wouldn't assume that (a) I sat down at the piano for the first time and the music magically flowed from my fingers or (b) that it was easy.
And if I've learned anything, it's that if something looks easy, someone has worked really hard to get to that point. (Rome not being built in a day, and all that.)
I felt like laughing hysterically. I actually *physically* felt my eyebrows hit my hairline in utter disbelief.
...so what did I *do*?
I pretended that I didn't hear it.
Because all of the thoughts and words I had couldn't possibly explain the feelings that come when you look at your amazing kid(s) and think, "I have an amazing kid."
But maybe that's just the hormones talking. Because parenting? Is not so easy.