I’m starting to think God was on to something when he came up with this whole kid-raisin’ scheme. I mean, I imagine he could have made it so that we popped out of enormous eggs fully grown or matured inside a pod growing on some oversize vine. But he didn’t. He decided people would start out as babies: helpless, fragile, tyrannical little things. And that parents would start out as…well…helpless, fragile, tyrannical things, too. And together, in that mystical way that only God is clever enough to orchestrate, those two helpless, fragile, tyrannical things can work together to bring one another closer to eternal happiness. Pretty wild, right?
Lately I’ve been forcing myself to marvel at this fact (you know, to keep my mind off the muddy paw prints in the carpet and that place where someone broke a pen and forgot to tell me about it) and , whadya know, was able to come up with a handy list of 5 frustrating things my kids do that apparently God wants me to be thankful for.
1) The growing inside my actual torso in a manner that is equal parts irritating and completely out of my control.
So here’s where it starts. A whole human being growing inside of me, kicking me in the bladder first then in the lungs eventually. The heartburn, the waiting, the doubling of the rear end for no good reason, the exhaustion, the waiting, the cankles. The waiting. Have I mentioned the waiting? Yeah, the waiting really sucks.
And I’m all “can’t you just have them pop out of huge egg pods or something?” and God’s all “but then would you have to truly live the fact that you’re not really in control of anything in this life?” Touche.
Hey God, thanks for knowing I can do something that is so ridiculously hard, that if I knew how ridiculously hard it would be I never would have done it to begin with, and then I would miss out on all the incredibly good that can only follow the ridiculously hard.
2) The waking up in the middle of the night for no reason.
So you get them out of your torso and you’re all excited that you can finally sleep without a second butt jamming itself against your ribs. And then it starts. The crying. The fussing. The general wide-awakeness with no obvious solution. And even though you want to just sleep, you can’t. You have to get up and, like, do stuff. In the middle of the night! It’s just so unfair!
Hey God, thanks for showing me that my needs don’t always have to come first. Even when I really, really, really, with every fiber of my being, want them to
3) The refusing to do what they’re supposed to do.
This one might be my favorite. So, you tell your son to put his cars away in the bin. Easy, right? He dumped them out, he knows where they belong, and he’s capable of doing it. What could possibly be go wrong? And then it starts. The wailing! The gnashing of teeth! The negotiations! The stomping! It is, honestly, a more ridiculous display than you could have imagined. What the heck? It’s silly and foolish and a waste of energy and….
Ooooooooh, well when I have to clean up the messes I’ve made or take care of the stuff that’s MY responsibility and I throw a little grown-up temper tantrum, it’s not nearly as bad because…..um…well because….
Yeah, okay. Sorry about that, God. Thank you for showing me how silly I sound when I throw a fit and refuse to do the things that I know I’m supposed to do.
4) The being hungry several times a day, every single dang day
We feed them. Then they’re full. And then, THEN, they’re hungry all over again! So inconvenient. But we keep feeding them. Because they need it.