I was all ready yesterday to write a post about just how awful parenting can be…and it can be. I was sick to death of my children fighting with each other. Sick of people asking me for things every two seconds. Sick of picking up toys and begging other people to pick up toys. Sick of pouring juice and putting grapes in little travel-sized containers, and making sure we have the eight billion things we might need in the stroller before walking out the door to the park.
But last night we went to dinner for Rosh Hashanah at my sister-in-law’s house. I’ve mentioned before that the husband, the boys, and I are all Catholic, but my father-in-law and his side of the family are Jewish and so we end up celebrating a ton of holidays around here. Because not all of us are Jewish, my father-in-law and sister-in-law decided to have everyone read a bit about the Jewish New Year before we ate. They passed out a few printed-out little passages and we took turns reading about the Shofar, The Book of Life, honey and apples, and so on.
Finally my father-in-law took up a page and announced that it was the last one. Brady looked across the table at me with huge, sad eyes so I quickly interrupted to ask, “Brady, did you want a turn to read?” He nodded and smiled as my father-in-law bent over the paper with him.
He started out a bit quietly, but once my father-in-law helped him over the first long and complicated word, he gained confidence and read quickly and raised his volume with only a few stumbles. I looked over at him with the hugest smile plastered on my face and tears shining in my eyes. It’s hard to imagine feeling so proud of and so in love with another person until you experience a moment like that. To watch my son, the person who started out life inside my body, not only reading a complicated passage he had never seen before, but wanting to read it and in front of other people, was something I didn’t know could fill my heart so fully.
So yeah, parenting can suck. It can be tedious and monotonous and unrelenting and exhausting. But at least it is balanced by moments of such amazing joy that it just might seem worth it.
L-Shana Tova to everyone out there. I think all of us could use an extra chance to start over each year.
Oh and I’m mixing it up with the mommies again over at More than Mommies and When Crazy Meets Exhaustion. Check it out, it’s tons of fun!