Creative Editing

This morning I sat with a family of two young boys, one of whom, at three years old, was having what I would call a characteristic day.  He was contrary, full of his own opinions, and vocal.  His parents were flummoxed, if not slightly frustrated; and as I commiserated with them–because anyone who has ever parented or cared for a toddler knows these things happen . . . repeatedly and a lot–I couldn’t help but think of a little piece of advice I give to myself whenever the going gets rough:  One day my sons will be thirty years old  . . .

On this blog and in my writing I don’t tend to highlight the tough stuff of daily life with children–the temper tantrums, the altercations between brothers, the messes, the sassiness.  But it’s there, all of it and regularly.  It doesn’t need to be shared because it’s ordinary, it’s expected, it’s what every child has done and every parent endured.

In fifteen years, though, when child-rearing (I won’t say parenting because that truly never ends) is behind me, I won’t be dwelling on any of that.  It will get edited out–and it should.  Just like the photos we choose to share with others, we edit out the experiences we don’t like, the ones that don’t show us at our best, the ones of which we are less than proud.

Ten minutes after this photo was taken, Oscar poured himself a bowl of cereal and used the largest bowl we had and a half-gallon of milk (most of which landed on the table and floor), August didn’t quite make it to the bathroom on time, and Edgar screamed that I was “the meanest mother ever” because I wouldn’t let him have potato chips for breakfast.

But that’s not what I want to remember about that day.  It’s those smiles.  It’s the love.  Because nothing matters more than that.  Nothing.


3 thoughts on “Creative Editing

  1. Ah, perspective–and non-control, tis not a question of vigilance as much as it is retaining one’s balance. They aren’t out to “get you,” but they do outnumber you (and Don) even when there are two parents present, so whatever little perks remind you, these stages don’t last forever, and that one day your life may be your own again, look at what you have given in time and love to contribute to rearing three chosen children.

  2. Ah, Samantha. You hit the nail on the head for teenage guys too. Anyone who has parented a 17 yr. old son knows that they are full of their own opinions (which are always right), contrary, and vocal. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy the smiles and hugs!

  3. Love that you are keeping it real and still focusing on the positive! Kids can be a pain in the butt sometimes – and yet I love and treasure them anyway. They are so pure, so malleable, so vulnerable and yes, they are the future parents, future voters, future citizens, doctors, haridressers, etc. The world truly can be a better place because of our children. So thanks for the reminder not to lose perspective because once again, he drew on the wall, kicked the dog, or performed any other act in his repertoire of mundane disobedience.

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