One Hundred Ninety Three: Moms and Dads

Saturday, July 12th

The epic family road trip continues, and today found us waking up in our tent to wish my son a very happy birthday. I love that little guy. Of course I do. He’s joyful and interesting and stubborn and tempermental. And now he’s four!

Vacations and birthdays are a mixed bag. There is the delight of experiencing change and a celebration in seeing things from a new perspective, but there is also a painful separation from the familiar. You’re on this journey and there’s no turning back….and that can be hard.

I am well aware that I have not transitioned (on this vacation and otherwise) into this enlightened mother who handles the stresses of parenting with ease and grace. So when my son crapped in his pants on the last night of being three, I lost it. When my daughter wouldn’t fall asleep that night, I lost it again. I have moments where I achieve that calm and metered tone with my kids, and day by day I strive to have more of them but sometimes I feel really selfish because I want my own moments without answering questions or solving disputes or pulling up zippers or combing out knots.

Saturday, we climbed into the car and headed from the campsite to my parents’ house. We heated up cinnamon buns and sang happy birthday. My Mom sat back in the Lazy Boy as her back acted up, and my Dad ate in the living room so my family could sit together at the table. My Dad would later take two hours to pick up my brother and bring him to a park where my kids were playing. It was an imperfect mess, but my parents did what they could to make my son feel special in the ways that they know how.

I know my son will one day look back on his childhood and have a list of reasons why he thinks I am batsh*t crazy, and I think I will be okay with that. Because at the end of the day, he will know that I love him and I forgive him and I will be there in my imperfect skin to accept him in his.

Can you accept your parents for who they are?

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