I spent the better part of my weekend dealing with the very big effects (e.g. two hours of sleep, five loads of laundry, one can of disinfectant, and three trips to the store for various liquids) of a very small five year old’s bout with Norovirus (a.k.a. that raging stomach virus that seems to have hit Dallas school children like the plague).
And through it all, I just kept thinking how much I love that little crying, sick, sad kiddo of mine. In the midst of the throw up (not to be gross), I was (immensely) thankful.
It seems I’m not alone in this gratitude for my offspring, as I woke to this note from the lovely and smart Kay Wyma this morning:
“As we were on the plane yesterday heading to Phoenix for Thanksgiving, I was taking in all the kids around me. Not just mine, but the ones behind and beside. The noise level was crazy, and all I kept thinking was… enjoy. Who cares if they’re screaming. It’s over so quickly, don’t ever wish it away. Then I watched mine… and I was so thankful. Here are only a few of the reasons why (I forced myself to stop b/c I could have kept on going).”
Hear, hear Kay. Hear, hear!
By Kay Wyma
Emily Post might cringe in her grave at all the mannerly blunders that pave my path. Despite the best of intentions, I find myself failing in proper etiquette more often that soaring. It’s not that my mother and grandmother didn’t teach me well or that Miss Ela Hockaday didn’t add her imprint as my friends and I endured Wednesday Dress Dinners each and every week. But somewhere along the way, I’ve casualed down and moved my proper etiquette from the passenger seat to the trunk (my procrastination tendencies don’t help.)
Which leads me to this thank you note (over due, but better late than never) in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
To my kids:
- for being my wing-men (especially for doing such a terrific job texting for me while I’m driving).
- for understanding and being patient when I periodically forget to pick you up from activities.
- for bearing with my wandering fork (the choices on your plate looks so much more appealing than the food on mine).
- for being honest about my wardrobe malfunctions. (“Mom, you have a hole in you pants.” “I do?… Is it big?” I ask reaching to feel, mentally flipping through all places I’ve been and people I’ve seen. “Let’s just say a mouse could crawl though that thing.” Eek!)
- for gently correcting my fashion faux-pas. (“Do you like the shoes I’m wearing?” “Oh my word no. Their hideousness was singed into my brain the moment I saw them this morning. You’ve got to get rid of those things,” At least she’s honest.)
- for enduring my singing along with the radio … even when your friends are in the car.
- for teasing me.
- for changing the screen saver on my phone to crazy pictures that make me laugh (like the current picture of a certain 5-year-old’s eye staring at me each time someone calls).
- for enduring all the ridiculous thing I say.
- for every single gray hair, that in the past I begrudged, but for which I am now grateful. Each one represents a rocky road we’ve walked … together.
- for all the noise. Might I never wish away even the bickering. All to soon, I know silence is coming … and for me, it won’t be golden. When the noise is gone, you’re gone.
- for letting me hug you, and for, every so often, leaning into it. When you melt in my arms, I get to feel and remember that little kid who relentlessly begged for them not so long ago.
- for laughing at the absurd. You remind me to find the humor in the mundane.
- for forgiving me.
- for falling asleep on my shoulder.
- for enduring (often forced-participating in) my hair-brained ideas (especially a book and blog where you excitedly – okay so only a couple of you – agreed to be the story-line).
- for being strong when I could barely stand. (“Mom… please don’t cry. If you cry, then I will,” begged one after a major trampoline accident. She stood strong while my knees buckled and I fought losing consciousness at the sight of her broken bone trying to push its way through her skin.)
- for getting back on the trampoline… and bravely facing (on your own) so many of your fears.
- for thinking I’m your hero.
- for still admitting we’re together when we walk out of the movie, bump into one of your friends, nodding-smile at their comment – “Did you hear that person laughing?!” – fully aware that it was me.
- for enduring my lack of skill in the kitchen – and so many areas.
- for providing an excuse to watch the teeny-bopper television shows (Good Luck Charlie, et al) that I love.
- for loving me, as close to unconditional this side of heaven.
- for every smile, every tear, every agreement, every argument, every sleepless night, every celebration, every defeat, every question, every complaint, every mundane detail.
I never imagined I could ever love someone as much as I love you. What parent can?
Kay Wyma is the author of Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. She shares the hilarity and the tears that come with raising adolescents & teens on her blog The Moat … because who wants to walk that road alone.
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