Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mama Bean didn't know how painful parenting would be

What a loaded title for a post, eh?

Don't worry, this isn't heavy today. This isn't about how parenting is so emotionally weighty, how there are pieces of our hearts transplanted into these tiny, fragile bodies, wandering around outside our bodies, bumping into crap and making mistakes, etc. This is not about that.

This isn't even about how Bean is a physical toddler who needs to run and jump and throw and push and hurt things and people because he has no impulse control and can't always make himself understood and probably wonders if anyone in his life really loves him. This isn't about getting beaned in the head with cars and books and other hard objects periodically.

I just didn't know how much their little bodies would end up colliding with mine, accidentally, but nonetheless, painfully. How they will constantly, with perfect timing, throw their heads up just as you are bending your head down, to connect poignantly at the bridge of your nose, where the burning blinding pain will last for minutes, but no matter, you can't stop, you still have to put the shoe on/pick up the dropped food/kiss the scraped knee. Or how their sticky little feet would shudder like a "snakebite" across your bare leg or arm, as they step on/over you for hugs, for better access to the book, to reach the car you just took away and put on the windowsill. Or how pointy their limbs are, their elbows and knees and feet and even their funny pointy bums, digging into your ribs and legs and arms, as you dress them, hug them, comfort them, wrestle them, or just lie on the floor in exhaustion and allow them to climb all over you, it doesn't even matter anymore.

It's just a little bruising, is all.

(When I shared this with a patient of mine, an older mom whose children are grown and married and almost parents themselves, she kind of said, "Oh, I guess I just didn't let my kids, like, do that." And then she had the grace to stop herself, because I guess she realized how unhelpful that was.)

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