An Epiphany

22 Jan

Often I am amazed that not only am I an adult but that I am in charge of the care and feeding and everything involved in helping to raise two children.  Me. The person who received a frozen turkey from an employer one Thanksgiving, put it in the trunk of the car, drove home and weeks later when the stench was overwhelming and the garage looked like a scene from the Amityville Horror with flies swarming finally opened the trunk and saw the forgotten rotting bird carcass. This person is now a mother.

Growing up I knew I always wanted to be a mom. I am the product of a sainted mother and a…less than sainted father. My mother has always seemed like a natural born mother whereas I have never been as confident in my abilities or trusted my instincts.  However, we all know SOMETHING when it comes to parenting. Who didn’t watch an episode of the Brady Bunch and say to yourself ‘looks easy enough’ or see 3 Men and a Baby and think ‘if Guttenberg can do it, certainly I can’.  It is a very different thing when your own sweet child looks at you and earnestly asks you a question you can’t answer like why terrible things happen sometimes or why the Kardashian’s are famous. I don’t have answers to either one of those questions that don’t include the words ‘assholes’ and ‘sex tape’.  Those can’t be the answers my mother would have given me.

Though I often find myself woefully unprepared as a parent, I did attend trade school for several Saturdays in a row and earn my Child Development Associates certification. With that certification I can walk into any preschool in the country and be hired for a very fulfilling and low paying job as a preschool teacher yet sadly, this certification has not helped a great deal regarding raising my own children. What I am about to tell you is something I learned in the trenches, on my own, and if you think it won’t happen to you, you are wrong.

At some point in your life as a parent your child will shit on you.  Literally and figuratively.  I think we all know what literally means. Baby wipes or wet paper towels in a pinch should take care of that. What you are not prepared for is the day the child you birthed does something that goes against everything you have been trying to instill in him since the day he exited your lady parts.  Whether he comes home from school proclaiming his love for George W. Bush (or whoever your personal political nemesis may be) or he wonders aloud when the new Nickelback album will be released, you will know it when it happens and will find yourself questioning even more than you did before and wondering what you could have done wrong.  Just then, your instincts finally kick in and you have a thought that like a beacon enlightens everything; this kid has TWO parents. This might not be MY fault at all.  I didn’t say they were good motherly instincts. Just instincts.

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