Back when I was pregnant with Hank, shortly before he made his appearance in this world, I remember being struck with one big fear: what if I don’t like him? I don’t know if all expecting Moms have this or similar fears, but the thoughts alone are generally followed by such an extreme amount of guilt, you are simply too ashamed to even mention it to someone. I mean, what kind of mother does not LIKE her own children? Or even envisions a day when that could be possible? For shame!
Regardless, it was a fear. I also feared that I would not have enough patience, something that, up until the time I had kids of my own, I seriously lacked with those humans of the children variety. I remember once snapping at my niece Hanna, who could not have been more than 7 at the time, for the terrible crime of humming (but in my defense, dudes, it was ANNOYING!).
As it turned out, I was better equipped than I expected to handle the stresses of motherhood. And by stresses, I mean the ones that are a DIRECT result of having a small person scream in your face for much of the day. As both my children and I get older, I have gotten a better handle on situations that would have made me lose my diddy mind just 8 or 9 short years ago. Situations where you have to stop and say to yourself, “Don’t yell at them for laughing,” just because the noise level is getting SO DAMN LOUD. Situations that make you realize that when someone has decorated your walls with crayons and markers, you should be grabbing the camera, not screaming like a prison inmate who’s just been stabbed with a dull spoon. It will wash off.
So, despite my fear that I somehow wouldn’t actually LIKE my children, I have found instead that they have a unique ability to crack me up like nothing else. It’s not just that I like mothering them, I like hanging out with them. I don’t mind listening to Hank rail on and on about Star Wars. I very much enjoy it when George tells me that he is cool, Hank is awesome and I am handsome. I love Phineas and Ferb. I yell at them for shooting Nerf guns at me, but only so I can wrestle said guns away and aim it back at their heads. I LOVE the scare game Hank and I play (he got me good yesterday). I love that every time George has done something seriously bad, he climbs up into my arms and says “I’m your baby” before I even get a chance to yell at him. And even though I do occasionally wish I could play Barbies, I enjoy setting up the Cars racetracks and shooting Lightening McQueen and Mater around the room.
One of my favorite things, however, is watching them interact with each other. This conversation happened in the backseat of the car today:
Hank: Oh man, my foot fell asleep!
George, leaning over and waving his arms at Hank’s foot: BOO!!
Hank: Nope, you didn’t wake him up.
Hank: Because, he’s really tired. And, he doesn’t have ears.
I cannot explain it, but this exchange cracked me up nearly to the point of tears. He doesn’t have ears. Ha!
There was a time when I actually feared that I wouldn’t connect with these children. I am not a person who likes to be wrong, but man am I ever happy I missed the boat on that one.