Sitting here today, I think of all the magical moments I have had and will hopefully continue to have with my children. Memories such as feeling them kick for the first time, holding them in my arms, their first smiles, learning to walk, and the list goes on. However, there are moments in life that no one warns you about before you become a parent. Those heart-stopping moments when they fall and slice their lip open so bad you think the blood could fill Norris Dam or even when they get much older and fall walking the dog and break their arm in half (yeah… that happened). Children are a mix of joy and fear for parents as we try to take nurture and care for them through their young lives, and even then, after that.
Parenthood is filled with the difficulties of navigating unknown territory, to begin with, but then we add our hopes, dreams, and fears for our children, and it becomes a big mess. Being a parent isn't easy, not everyone wants to/or can do it (there are an estimated 73.9 million children in the USA in 2019), and a lot of us have to face the reality of the risks and fears that come along with raising a child.
With loving someone so deeply, that often means doing things that, for lack of a better term, SUCK a lot of the time. For instance, I had to go to the pediatrician's office because my youngest had a possible ear infection and needed to be seen. That required me to hold him still long enough for the doctors to look into his ears, cleaning them out to see better, and all while he cried because he hates this part more than anything else he can imagine. No parent enjoys this, but because we love them, we will become the "bad guys" to keep them healthy and safe.
Behind closed doors, our children will never know the darkest moments when we cry because we don't know if what we are doing is "right," when we hold them still for the doctors' appointments even though it breaks our hearts, or when it's all we can do to make it through the day.
They will know us for the moments when we wish all we could do is take their pain away for them and love them a little more than we already did. They will make memories of the times we tuck them in a little more each night and add an extra Band-Aid on the non-existent cut that their stuffed animal has because it matches their own "boo-boo."
These small versions of ourselves bring light into our lives that could never be replaced, but nothing is ever easy either. As parents, we often fear the worst and hope for the best (even at the same time) and do the best that we can. The good memories will outshine the worst and, in the end, brighten even the darkest day.