A Novel Idea

It’s no secret I enjoy talking about my son.  It’s true that, as a 2.5 year old, he often tests my limits past the breaking point, but I’d rather not talk about that on a regular basis.  I’d rather tell the store of the funny thing he said last night or adventures we had at the library.  I’d rather talk about the fun things we’re planning for a Halloween costume or a Christmas tradition.  There’s a lot to do with young children and sometimes I feel like I’m in the minority for enjoying any of it.

I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the fun things we had done the day before and she was surprised at the enjoyment of it all.  Granted the girl is still rather young; at an age where most young people can’t imagine focusing on anyone but themselves.  (No judgement there – I went through that same phase myself.)  However, it was shocking at just how shocking the idea of enjoying time with ones children was to her.  Here was a girl who’d only been told by adults and peers that children were nothing more than soul and fun sucking little minions.

Her eyes widened as I told her how much fun it was to have a reason to watch all the Disney movies again or to spend an hour perusing the children’s section at the library.  I told her that it really can be fun spending the afternoon at the park or making a complete mess in the kitchen while making cupcakes.  I told her that having kids, though they take time and energy and responsibility, gives you the excuse to be a kid yourself again and she was amazed.  No one had ever talked about enjoying their children with her.

I understand – not everyones parenthood journey is all sunshine and rainbows, in fact no one’s is.  But isn’t it saying something when a generation of young adults has never been told that kids can be fun?  We should be telling our teenagers and young adults that kids are a lot of work because it’s the truth and they need to know that’s never a walk in the park.  But, we should also tell them that every now and then between the whining and the diapers and the attitudes and the time –  there are walks in the park

And afternoons at the swimming pool.

And nights in bed with an endless stack of all the best kids books you had forgotten you had loved.

And rainy days with a stack of movies and a bowl of popcorn.

In the end the idea that you can enjoy your time with your children shouldn’t be such a novel idea.

13 thoughts on “A Novel Idea

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  1. There is so much awesomeness in being a parent. Don't get me wrong there are days when I collapse on the couch with beer or glass a wine in hand thinking that “tomorrow will be better”.

    I know your son is younger but my girls (7 &5) are telling jokes and making puns. It is awesome.

    There are nights where there are dance parties in the living room with these mini people that have way better dance moves than you and nights of catching fireflys.

    There are ticklefests and searching for shooting stars.

    There are bike tricks and giving mommy a makeover (yikes).

    There are blanket picnics inside while watching a movie and hide-and-seek games.

    There are nights where you get to teach your daughters different hand clap games you did as a girl.

    There is sneaking up and blowing raspberries on each other's tummy that ends up in tears of laughter.

    The fun, and joy, and new discoveries faaaar outweigh the soul and fun sucking little minion part of parenting.

    It is so neat seeing my children experience some of the same fun things I loved about being little. I tell everyone how awesome it is. I can't believe this poor girl never had anyone share a story about the positive side of parenthood with her.

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  2. And play dough! Don't forget play dough. I wasn't allowed to have it as a kid at my house, so it's especially fun to do it with my own kids.

    Also bubbles and running through the sprinkler. We'd look slightly odd playing in our sprinkler without our children, I bet.

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  3. So interesting!! You're right — this totally is a generational issue. I guess I never really understood that kids could be fun, either; so I'm constantly surprised how much fun I have with my almost-two-year-old. And she's so FUNNY! I've been trying to share with other people, too, that having kids can be a blast (while simultaneously the most exhausting and frustrating thing I've ever done.) Great thoughts!

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  4. Amen! It is so sad that most people's attitude about children is just what you described – soul and fun sucking. And because they believe that, when they do have children, they don't bother to try having fun with them. It is definitely work, and hard work, but they are a blast!

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  5. I have to say I fall in the category of not having to worry about anyone but myself (I'm 27, live by myself) and most of my work colleagues are women with children of various ages, from infants to 21. And they never stop complaining about those children. Sometimes I find it quite uncomfortable!

    I think maybe work is the only place they can vent, but sometimes it just seems to be very negative. I'm wondering were they in the opposite situation when they were young, led to believe it was all sunshine and puppies and white picket fences, with no one to warn them there would be difficult times?

    I'm so glad to hear you're sharing positive stories with your co-workers because I think people my age need to hear them!

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  6. I work with a lot of those types too – particularly the older one's are the worst. All they see is the money they spent on their kids, etc. and seem really bitter about it.

    That all being said I'll be the first to tell you your priorities shift and you have spend money on them when you'd really love to go spend it on yourself and there are days you just want them to go to sleep! But I can't ignore the rest, those fun moments, or else I'd just be depressed!

    Enjoy the “me” time of your life – I know I did for a long while!

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  7. I'd totally have an adults only backyard sprinkler party – seriously, break out the margaritas, the slip n' slide and the giant bubble wands and I'd be all over that!

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  8. I know that's what a lot of people tried to make me believe before H. arrived – lots of “you'll never do x,y or z again!” horror stories. It's one of the reasons I always try to remember something fun that's happened before I vent about a long night or a grumpy kid.

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  9. Molly, Molly, Molly you are sound too much like a theatre major here!

    P.S. Would you please invite me! 🙂

    We broke out the slip n' slide last summer. I hold the family record for furthest slide!

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