Mondays are reserved for mommy talk here at HH. By "talk" I mean incoherent ramblings.
I’m a much better parent when my kids aren’t around. I have philosophies, you know. I have opinions about how one should speak to their child (firm, yet loving). I have thoughts on where and how much a child should sleep. I raise my eyebrows at unruly children in public spaces.
And then I wake up from that dream and accidentally screech at my children (again). I try not to lose patience when putting my kid down for the night in the walk-in closet where we make her sleep when we’re at the lake. It’s an hour later than I should allow, but the days of summer are just so long, and I’ve been solo-parenting on and off for nine months now, and everything I’ve said I would do once the kids go to bed is out the window because I’m too tired to do anything besides...nothing.
We are in week two of six weeks worth of houseguests. We do this every summer, the fun parade comes to town with friends and family rotating through our slamming screen doors. There are four million memories made and hundreds of burgers thrown on the grill and sand trapped in every crevice of land and body.
Each time I have to throw a cover up over my swimsuit to drive back in to Wal-Mart for more of everything, I start to grumble and then not-so-gently remind myself that we are so lucky to have these summers. That we are beside ourselves to have more, even when the soul so often screams for less. That this kind of more that we’re hosting, it’s the okay kind.
Our guests are parents, children, families, and fragments of families. When you heap people on top of one another, differing parenting styles wave all their flags. I learn something with every interaction. I mostly learn that good kids aren’t an accident.
My sister was here this weekend and she invited a college friend with three of her daughters to come stay for the night. And the daughters were just jewels, playing with my kids and respectful to the adults and entertaining themselves for hours. And I thought to myself, “Gracious, someone put in a lot of work there.”
Have you seen this tribute from Stephen Colbert to his mother who recently passed away? The video is enough to wreck you for an hour. I want to know Mrs. Colbert’s secret. Surely there was more to her parenting than stage falls on the kitchen floor and encouraging dance. At what point do your children filter out all the times you did the crazy-mom-eyes and decide that the sum of your love cancels out all the in-between?
Pardon me while I space out over my keyboard. We’re in the middle of some sort of toddler sleep regression. These are the blurry years, that try as I might, I simply can’t capture this season frame by frame. Thankfully, the summer and the house is filled with people who want to love on my children and people who I want to love on.
Parenting, friendship, marriage, relationship. I have philosophies, you know. Did Mrs. Colbert?