The crying is relentless and the pacifying is close to impossible at times. There are no “hours of operation”- its a round the clock deal. No time off for feeling sick, being depressed or holidays.
The job of a parent is, at times, thankless. There are phone calls in the middle of the night, decisions needing to be made that seem “mean” but deep inside you know (or really hope) that its the only decision to make.
When you first become a parent, you start off thinking you will be better then your own parents, better then your spouses parents and better then any other parents in the history of the world. But being a parent humbles you. What starts off with a feeling of invincibility quickly transforms into a vulnerability you never in your wildest dreams could have imagined. It also deepens your respect for your own parents as they give you the crying baby back and leave quietly trying not to smile or laugh too hard.
Once the cord is cut; the bell has rung and the days of closing your eyes and feeling a sense of total peace are over. If the baby does sleep all night you go and stare at them until you finally see them breathing. (or poke them softly – not a good idea if its too early).
You watch them grow and you finally understand what it meant when your parents told you that time flies. It doesn’t fly – it soars. One minute you are singing the kid to sleep and the next minute you are telling them to lower the volume of the music coming from their room. One minute its the diapers and the next its the graduation gown. The clock seemingly is moving at the same pace – but like riding on a runaway train the sights and the sounds are seen and heard but difficult to appreciate and absorb. As each Monday turns to Friday in a flash and the years turn from 1989 to 2011, brown hair turns to gray, if you are lucky to even keep any hair; tears turn to laughter and laughter back to tears. Life is not easy – but the joys of love and laughter outweigh the sadness and the hatred.
Most people have a tough time making a living, finding a job or are miserable in the jobs they have. Children have nightmares and they wake up crying – adults nightmares are the dreams never realized. We wake up each day and go about our responsibilities on autopilot. We come home and just when you think you are in a bad mood – you see the smiles, you feel the love and you hear the laughter. Suddenly it all becomes very clear and you are suddenly rejuvenated. When you hit the pillow at night you try and shut off the day and fall into the night. Where dreams come to life in the eyes of your children.