I look back at early posts about my children, my feelings towards them, and it’s fascinating to see how a parent’s love evolves over time. You simply don’t love a 7-pound lump of drooling baby the same way you love a huggy 8-month old, or a hand-clutching toddler or a first grader who tells you you’re the best mom in the world.
I tell Thalia that she’ll feel differently when she’s 13 though she insists that’s impossible. So I’ve made her sign a contract that states I will never say ‘I hate you Mom’ when I turn 13.
She’ll break it, of course.
But when she does, and she hates me and is equally sure that I hate her, I wanted to have a list handy of a mere fraction of the things I’ve done to demonstrate my love for my children.
1. Stripped down nekkid with my feet up in stirrups for the viewing pleasure of total strangers.
2. Skipped spicy tuna rolls for an entire 40 weeks.
3. Skipped wine for an entire…well, 30-something weeks. Mostly.
4. Survived hormonal changes that had me crying at everything from David Bowie lyrics to a very pretty rock.
5. Watched my boobs grow from a C to a DDD to Holy Mother of Jeebus What the Heck Are Those Things?
6. Gave up coffee
7. Gave up 36 straight months of sleeping through the night.
8. Resumed coffee with a vengeance
9. Read Goodnight Gorilla 60,047 times. (It has THREE WORDS, people. Three words!)
10. Stuck my hands in someone else’s excrement purposefully and with minimal complaint.
11. Stopped saying “fuck” in front of you.
12. Okay, still said “fuck” in front of you. But learned to apologize for it immediately after. And don’t you say it either.
13. Pumped in the bathroom stall of an airport that I can smell in my nightmares to this day.
14. Spent more middle-of-the-night hours on Web MD worrying about you than you can possibly imagine.
15. Spent my very last $4.99 in the world one week on organic milk.
16. Slept on top of disembodied baby dolls arms
17. Slept on top of LEGOs.
18. Slept on top of magic markers with the caps off (which I didn’t discover until morning).
19. Devoted 13 consecutive weekends to children’s birthday parties.
20. Endured nightmares about talking toys.
21. Endured Elmo.
22. Endured Dora, the girl WHO TALKS AS IF THE WORLD IS WEARING HEARING AIDS.
23. Spent entire days engaged in dialogue like, “well who do you think is nicer, Funshine Bear or Tenderheart Bear?”
24. Smiled and nodded politely at competitmommies in the playground who had somehow assured themselves that the early date of their child’s first incoming tooth was some messianic omen.
25. Took the cupcake that the dog licked and let you have the other one.
26. Handed over an entire, precious closet shelf to boxes with labels like “glitter.”
27. Accepted the fact that my makeup, jewelry, and underwear drawer are no longer my own. And often will be found on your heads, at any given moment.
28. Gave up any hopes of ever seeing a movie in a theater that doesn’t have a talking animal in it.
29. Gave up any future fantasies of skydiving, hang-gliding, or space travel.
30. Learned to suck in my stomach permanently for life.
The thing is, my girls? I’d do any one of them again for you in a heartbeat. Although I beg you never to go back to diapers.
Thanks Huffington Post for including this post in Parenthesis: The best of the parenting blogs. And with such good company!