My kids often surprise us with the unspeakably comical things that they say.
They also make us pause when their questions require an honest and thoughtful answer.
We’re coming off of a holiday trip that bore some of the typical challenges of traveling during an already busy season.
Sometimes, reality didn’t match the idyllic scenes in a Hallmark Movie for the various tugs and pulls of life, and family, and obligations.
Essentially, it was a normal holiday season- one that many might relate to, and one that might lead a child to ask a simple, but very thought-provoking question of her parents like our six-year old daughter did tonight on the way back from a drugstore where we bought vitamins for immunity support to stave off any more festive seasonal illness-on-the-go.
“Mom? Is It Easy Having Kids?”
I could have answered her quickly with a fleeting and dishonest, “YES! It’s Super Easy!”, but I’ve got a sort of rule about not lying about that kind of stuff.
I don’t want to be the Army Recruiter who promises someone a job in a highly marketable computer field who then lands him in a basement working with dot matrix printers circa 1985. That’s just bad Mommy PR. So, I told her the truth.
“No. Having Kids Is Not Easy.”
Our First Grader looked concerned so I elaborated,
“But….It IS Awesome!”
Our daughter was confused.
“How can something be hard and awesome at the same time, Mommy?”
I didn’t have any concrete examples to give in that second.
But, I told her that most things that are completely awesome
in our lives are usually not that easy.
BUT, THEY ARE USUALLY WORTH IT.
I may have blanked on examples but our daughter threw one out. She said,
“You mean like if we’re sledding
and we have to walk all the way up
to the top of the hill in the freezing cold
so that we can sled down super fast
and have all that fun
spinning all the way down?”
I didn’t think I could put it any better myself so I told her that was pretty much exactly right.
Really, that is about the best metaphor I could think of that I didn’t think of at all.
Maybe, to complete the parallel, I could have added a few crash-and-burns at the bottom of the hill, some broken sleds, or a dud slope or two to round out the analogy, but I felt pretty good she now understood that something can be TOTALLY NOT EASY while still being simultaneously TOTALLY AWESOME.
We’re all trudging up a slope,
looking for a safe route,
eyes on the peak,
moving forward when it hurts,
striving upward when we fall,
willing onward when we’re cold,
and getting to the end
as honestly and happily as we can
so that the long and arduous trip
might all be worth it
for one magnificent launch,
followed by a brief
soar to the bottom,
on a cheap, round sled
that spins you like a top
until you crash,
or coast to a stop,
Hoping For The Coast,
Always Hoping For The Coast,
so that we might trudge back up
to do it all over,
It’s Not Easy Having Kids. But, It IS Freaking Awesome.
It’s Like That.
IT’S ALSO LIKE THIS.
Trusting Clutches, Giant Smiles, And Closed Eyes
Astride Quiet Screams And Immense Hopes
That You Will Coast,
Coast Without Crashing,
Still Smiling, Still Laughing,
Without Breaking Anything,
After That Fervent And Amazing Ride
Hoping You Didn’t Lose Your Sled On The Way…
But Even If You Had,
It Would Have Been Worth
So, to wrap it all up in a nice, pithy little phrase: