Parenting isn’t the easiest part of life. In thirteen years, I’ve seen a lot- endless crying, broken bones, a heart condition, special needs with two out of three kids, daily wrestling matches, and the list could go on for about a week. It starts out with a small baby step that depends on you for everything- food, clean diapers (yuck), shelter, clothes, and much more. The baby cries a lot, sleeps, eats even more and just kind of chills out when they are awake.
Before you know it, the baby is growing into a person! What? How did this happen? Time goes by a lot faster than you thought it would. They are sitting up, have a schedule (finally), eating food, and might be crawling. This might be baby-proofing time!
Then comes toddler time. This is when the real fun starts. They learn to walk, walk, and other fun things. If they’re lucky, they’ll get a sibling to get into further shenanigans with! My three kids are eighteen months apart and lots of shenanigans have occurred in my house. MY sons once turned the kitchen floor into a slip and slide as I put their sister down for a nap. They went sliding down the steps in a clothes basket! I admire their sense of adventure but at the same time, give mom a break, guys.
So, what are the fun parts of parenting? Everyone has a different idea of “fun,” but having kids does tend to have its fun moments.
Watching their personalities come out
When you’re pregnant, one of the questions that pop up is, “I wonder who they will be like?” “Will they be funny or quiet? Will they like playing in the mud or run from it?” I have one kid that would live in the mud if I’d let him, but my daughter hates it. Finding yourself or your partner’s quirks can be lots of fun. Some kids’ personalities come out very quickly and some take a bit longer. Either way, it’s been one of my favorite things about being a mother. My kids have three very different personalities. Sometimes they clash, well, at least once a day, but in the end, they still like each other. Probably.
Watching your child take their first steps
This may be temporarily frightening because sometimes this ends in a fall, but most babies get up (with a little help) and try again. This is a huge lesson for kids, even though at the time they may not realize it. Resilience is a very important lesson to learn that lasts a lifetime. Things will happen in life as they grow up that require the ability to get back up, shake it off, and try again.
This can be losing a game, a friendship, or even being rejected romantically. Some babies get mad and refuse to walk again for a while (my oldest nephew did this) but eventually, most babies get the idea and wander away from us. It is a bittersweet moment as we watch our little ones grow, even if it’s a small bit.
Teaching or showing your child something you liked to do or watch on TV as a kid or as an adult
As a kid, I loved to jump rope. I also loved many TV shows that are making a comeback. My oldest son, Cameron, is actually named from an 80’s movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” which is my favorite movie. He’s thirteen, so I have allowed him to watch the movie. He thinks it’s hilarious, but knows better than to even think of cutting school with his friends. I had so much fun laughing through the movie with him and it was a pretty cool bonding experience for us. That movie comes on TV quite a bit, so we watch it when we can.
My husband loved riding a bike when he was a kid, so he has been really happy that both of our sons have also become bike riders. Our youngest son, Julian, pretty much lives on his bike when the weather permits it. He’s taught both boys what his dad taught him- how to fix a chain, airing a tire, and other basic bicycle maintenance. I call it “boy bonding,” but to them, it means a lot more, and they’ll be able to pass this knowledge down to their children. Lillian, our daughter, isn’t interested at all in bikes.
I’ve personally been into makeup since my grandmother showed me everything she knew when I was about eleven-years-old. I waited years to show my own daughter these things, and Lillian has been watching me with my own makeup since she could stand on her own. Her time is coming soon and I cannot wait! I may shed a few tears of happiness in the makeup aisle at Walmart.
Going to new places is fun for most people, but for kids, it’s always fun to see the looks on their faces when they see things they have never seen before. It’s a great feeling as a parent to be able to see the joy on your child’s face when they are seeing something new and especially when you can capture it in a picture.
The randomness of everyday life
My kids are funny in their own way. Cameron inherited my sarcasm and he’s pretty good at it. As a thirteen-year-old, he sees things a lot differently than I do at thirty-five. Julian is on the autism spectrum, and for a while, we wondered if he really had a sense of humor. It finally emerged as a dry sense of humor. Lillian’s sense of humor is a bit goofier and we laugh at all three kids daily. It’s pretty much a comedy routine without knowing who will make us laugh next.
I’ve been to a lot of school events over the years. I am not exactly the most social mom, so sometimes I feel like I am being dragged out of my very comfortable house to attend them. My kids are now in two separate schools (elementary for Lillian and middle school for Cameron and Julian) and this is hard on my brain. I have been to some fun events, and weirdly enough, I was glad I went. Lillian’s elementary school had its first-ever talent show about a month ago, and I was a little bit less than happy about going. She insisted on going because her friends would be there, so I told her we would go. The show ended up being great. I enjoyed myself a lot more than I thought I would and Lillian and I had a bit of time together. We had fun watching her friends perform and after she left me behind to sit with her student teacher and one of her non-performing friends, Julian and I quietly watched the show. It’s possible to find fun in the small moments.
Parenting can be a blast. The good moments outnumber the difficult ones and those are the ones that make the most memories.