It gets easier, they tell us.
And so many of us cling to that hope as if it’s a lifeline.
And, in many ways it does — raising children does get easier. Except when it gets harder, more emotional, more complicated.
I am learning this. Relearning this. Waking up to this falsehood that easier meant easy.
“Emily said my hair smells like guinea pigs,” my daughter said to me, curled up next to me on the couch holding her pet guinea pig.
Deep breaths fold in and out of my lungs. Anger fills me up. I want to curl around her and never let her go.
There is no doubt her body is changing. I see the hair on her legs. I see how she can no longer go more than two days without a shower without the evidence of it showing up in oily strands.
They both climb higher. Run faster. Take more risks. My heart leaps with each one.
Easier doesn’t mean easy. Not at all.
This is when all of the hard work I’ve done over the last eight years shows up for me.
- In appreciating every single second I get to be here, to witness their gradual transformations from little people into blossoming adults.
- In reminding myself to breathe, to nurture myself, to pay attention to the woman inside of me, not just the mother I’ve become and not just the women they will become some day, too.
- In staying open to the constant learning curve of releasing what doesn’t need to be tended to right now and finding support in community of other mothers who are learning to trust also.
- In reminding myself not just to be playful but to put it first and foremost in our lives — and to make it good because how lucky am I to get this chance to live a full life of laughter and giggles, silly jokes and crazy dances?
This journey is crazy.
This journey is marvelous.
This journey is awkward.
This journey is emotional.
This journey is powerful. Magical. Stunning. Awakening.
No it is definitely not easy, not one bit.
But I like a good challenge.