Life steps along at a regular pace most of the time, with some curve balls thrown in for good measure. Nine times out of ten we field the curve balls with a smile, and come out relatively the same on the other side. We dust ourselves off and find we are more fit for the next pitch.
Then some of us have children. This is a fast ball of unparalled speed.
Now your life becomes a never-ending series of light and dark moments. Happening at the same time.
For instance, you are so desperate for some alone time in the first years of your child's life that you are beside yourself. Then it is almost time for your little one to start school, and you are thrilled. The first day of school comes and your usually independent little bugger is not only screaming at a glass-breaking pitch, you have to peel them off of your leg and leave them crying "MOMMY!" repeatedly as you leave the building. You have your alone time, but now you are not so thrilled. You feel guilty and all you can think about is your child's well-being. And how sad they must feel. And how miserable you feel.
The school day finally ends and you can't wait to pick them up. You envision their tear-streaked faces and bloodshot eyes. But when you show up they happily run over and show you the craft they made. Yay! Happiness! All is well--the angels are singing and the weight of the world is off your shoulders. Only now you are a little mad because you spent your whole day worrying. And you still feel like you need time to yourself because all you did was think of them all day. And this repeats every day for the next million years, but the screaming tones down to grumbling as they get a bit older. Then it is finally time for them to graduate and you are thrilled, and so sad at the same time. They are no longer small, and you miss that. They were so sweet! And we are so proud now! How they have grown. But remember how adorable they used to be? It seems that no emotion arrives on its own once kids involved. It's all light and dark.
You love them more than anything in the world, you would throw yourself in front of a train to save them, and all you want is to not think about them so much.
If you are enjoying yourself, they are probably miserable, and vica versa. You don't want to watch Power Rangers and they do not want to go see the Cezanne exhitbit at MoMA.
The magaines and books get us ready for the diapers, baths, and the how-to of being the perfect working parent. What we should really be gearing up for are the contant ups-and-downs of life with a kid. Forget black and white...it's now a thousand shades of grey, and every color in the rainbow.
So get ready for the fast ball.
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