I think I’ve finally found an analogy that works for me. Cade and Zane are three and two respectively and they drive me up the wall daily. I love them. They make me laugh, give me plenty of snuggles, and their inquisitive, quick little brains fill me with joy and wonder as they make developmental leap after leap. They also fight like cats and dogs, wail like fire sirens, make an incredible mess, are chronically hungry, and don’t let me sleep. I get so frustrated on a daily basis that I decided having a third child was a GREAT idea, and so now as I yell at everyone to go to time out for fistfighting for the umpteenth time in an hour, I also beam with joy as I gasp for breath after said yelling because this pregnancy has given me every symptom in the book and I’m so thrilled to be preggo.
This doesn’t make any logical sense, friends. Why would I want more children when the ones I have already habitually drive me nuts? Why would I dream about a bigger family when I can barely hold together our family of four? Why would ANYONE in their right mind run for thirty three miles or more straight?
I can’t explain it because the reasons change all the time, but the fact is, even remembering how much training and running for ultras SUCKED, I also remember the runs that felt fantastic, the small moments of euphoria during the race (that aid station with chocolate donuts, Brian making me laugh so hard I tried to feebly push him into a tree), that feeling crossing the finish line and the glow that lasted for weeks afterwards. Now, added up by time, the hard, uncomfortable, unpleasant times heavily outweighed the happy moments. But those happy moments, the satisfaction, the feeling of growth and accomplishment, those made it all worth it. And make me want to do another one.
Just so with parenting. I treasure the happy moments with the boys, I replay them in my mind, I try to encourage repeat moments every day, and even tired and frustrated I try to make sure I am actively engaging so that I make the most of this stage and age. But right now, the frustrating moments outweigh (measured in time) the happy ones. I still KNOW, however, that it is totally one hundred percent worth it, and I am growing in so many ways as my children grow. And so I’m excited about getting to “do another one.” 😉