I’m about to do the one thing you’re not suppose to do. I’m about to tell you that sometimes when the dreams you dream come to fruition, the ones you’ve hoped, prayed, and labored for, it can suck. Yep, your dreams can suck.
Don’t despair, I don’t mean to say that the dream itself sucks, or that you’d take that dream back for another, just that though most people won’t admit it, at times what we want most can suck.
There are all kinds of videos, blog posts and funny articles about just how hard parenthood can be. When I didn’t have kids I would read them and laugh, thinking “I’m sure it’s hard, yet how cute that a tiny person can have such a mind of their own!” Cute, um well now I wouldn’t describe it quite so much as cute.
And so today it was my turn to be the one whose two year old was launching cups of salsa across a restaurant table, screaming at the top of her lungs and throwing her little willful self onto the floor kicking and screaming wildly. Yep, that one’s mine!
As adoptive parents I think sometimes we feel we aren’t suppose to say those things biological parents often say about their kids. You know, things like how hard they are to handle at times, how they push them to their near breaking point, how sometimes parenting sucks. However today I’m breaking the silence.
Sometimes this sucks. There I said it.
You see when we try to keep it in, when we try to pretend that these amazing dreams come to fruition are pure perfection, we back ourselves into a corner. In so doing we can feel alone, isolated by the pretense of perfection.
So today I needed to just be able to say, this really really sucks. Not this child, not her strong will and not her proclamation of Self amidst the all encompassing big world around her. What sucks is the moment, this part of parenting that brings us parents to our knees (sometimes literally). What sucks are these days where our children truly become our biggest mirrors, and our greatest teachers. What sucks is how we can feel that we’ve failed them no matter how many deep breaths we took, nor how calm we tried to be (while stepping over their little flailing bodies flopping like fish on the floor as we quickly head toward the door).
You see it can be easy to forget that often those things we cherish most are the ones we have to work the hardest for, the ones we have to dig the deepest into ourselves to achieve. And so it is with our dreams.
Our dreams were planted there because they are meant to be ours. Yet we must remember that in that intention lies a myriad of purposes. Some of those purposes carry with them ease, joy and laughter. Just like the day I took this picture of my daughter as she and I explored nature and she jumped in every creek, puddle and pile of leaves. Yet some of those purposes are hard, some of them can really really suck.
When we allow ourselves to acknowledge the things that suck, we also allow ourselves to embrace what they’ve come to teach us. Because I know that when I can teach my daughter how to harness all of that power and will within her, to convey her wants with kindness and firmness, to release her anger, tiredness, sadness and frustration with gentleness and compassion, so too will I learn this lesson.
So thank you little willful spirit encompassed in my daughter’s body. Thank you for your pretty good throwing arm, your ear piercing screams and for all those things that just plain sucked today. Thank you for this opportunity to learn how to be a better person. Thank you my little Buddha, thank you.