Sometimes, my kids can't stand me.
I've gotten the, "You're mean!" and "I don't like you!" and "You're drunk!" more times than I care to admit.
I'm incredibly short-tempered, and I don't like repetitive noise. I don't like screaming, whining, or tattling. I don't like anyone in the kitchen with me when I'm trying to cook dinner or make lunch. I don't like when someone knocks on the bathroom door when I'm going to the bathroom. I don't like being asked to get someone a drink when I'm balls deep in doing other things in the kitchen. I don't need help making my coffee. I don't need help with the dishwasher. I don't want little butts on the kitchen counter. I don't like having the seat in my car kicked (or even TOUCHED by little feet) while I'm in it. I don't like pounding, banging, or knocking. I don't like whistles. I don't like toys that make noise. I don't like unfinished dinners followed by "But I'm HUNGRY" at 7:58 when bedtime is 8pm. I don't need help turning the pages in the book, and I don't want to read 70 bedtime stories.
But you know what I love? I love being a mom. I forget how much I love it sometimes, because it is so difficult and relentless. But it's also the best. School and soccer and gymnastics and sweaty hair and dirty nails and swimming and headbands and nail polish and coloring and Old Maid and hula hooping and jumping rope and reading and playing house and middle-of-the-night cuddles... it's all extraordinary.
I had a thought this weekend that I should tell them how much I wanted to be a mom, and how no matter how frustrated I get with them, they made my dreams come true and there was nothing in the world I wanted more than them. I tell them I love them all the time, I kiss and hug them every day repeatedly. But I thought it would be good to really explain to them that they are the best things about my life. I figured a way to do this would be to ask them if they could think of something they really wanted, more than anything else in the world, and tell them that what I really wanted was to be a mom, and that they made that happen for me, and I love them so much and I'm so grateful.
So yesterday, Maddie and I were playing on my bed, and I said, "Hey, can you think of something you want more than anything else in the world?"
She smiled her huge Maddie smile and said, "A new family!" She saw the look on my face and said, "Just kidding!" and started laughing.
She's always going for the joke. I can't imagine where she gets that from.