A few of my friends recently linked to a blog post entitled "Don't Carpe Diem", which is addressing the unsolicited advice of "Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast.". I really liked the article. I totally agree that parenting is hard work. And I liked the author's metaphor of raising children being like mountain climbing...a tough but rewarding endeavor.
What struck me about this article wasn't exactly the content, but how it relates to my life. I never get unsolicited advice. I wonder why that is. Do I not look like someone who would be accepting of unsolicited advice? Do I look too crazed to appreciate it? Or do they see Matthew, realize that he's unique and not say a word?
Even as Matthew's journey has keyed us in to be more appreciative of the every day, and the gifts we have been given, I'm not beyond needing the occasional reminder. Recently Darren and I have been lamenting about the fact that parenting is initially physically exhausting (feeding, wakings, diapering, bathing, etc) and then it starts to transition to mentally exhausting (dealing w/emotions, preparing them to be productive members of society, etc). We are learning this is a continuum. Matthew is still primarily on the physical end, Jackson being somewhere in between, and Alyssa being more on the mental end.
When I do take those moments to reflect--I'm awed by the neat beings that call me "mommy". Alyssa is a sweet, confident, and secure young girl. Jackson is an affectionate, funny, and cautious little boy. Matthew is a strong, sweet, and active baby. And just as I'm awed, I also can be frustrated more than I ever thought possible by Alyssa's sassiness, Jackson's mismangement of his emotions, and Matthew's revolting against anything he doesn't want to do. Every day isn't rainbows and sunshine, but I know the journey is beautiful. So maybe my slogan isn't "carpe diem" but is "enjoy the ride".