Life's Like an Hourglass Glued to the Table

Wow. A giant mass of pointy candy corns comin' at ya. Bad idea. 

Things I've said to at least one of my children this week, in no particular order:

"No, a trip to Seattle is not a reasonable birthday gift request."

"Coke (does not) = Water."

"Please do not call our dog a 'pimp.'" In the child's defense, she was unable to properly define the word, and after learning what it means agrees it does not describe our dog accurately.

"A few years back, I was struck multiple times in the face with flying candy corns while making your bed. You had stored them in your pillowcase, I assume for convenience in indulging a late-night, crack-like sugar addiction. As Halloween season approaches, I'd like to remind everyone to please not store any type of candy, whether soft or incredibly missile-like in hardness, in one's pillowcase." Seriously, I almost lost an eye.

"If I say 'I can see your cheeks in those shorts,' I do not mean the cheeks upon which you apply rouge. Please remove the shorts immediately and place them in the giveaway pile." 

"It's never too early to start thinking about sorority rush, so please stop posting pictures of your mangled feet on social media. I'm sorry that cross country is ending a potential career as a foot model and perhaps hampering your ability to wear shoes ever again, but if one more shot of a blue toenail and skin bearing a resemblance to road kill pops up on my feed, so help me I'll do something drastic. Please don't try me. I'm very creative. And loud."

" _______ causes acne." (Fill in the blank with whatever objectionable action you desire. In the last three days I've used eating candy, stealing my makeup, back talk and forgetting to flush the toilet.)

"If you mention again how in X number of days you'll get your driver's permit and that 'I'll be the passenger in my own car' I will ground you, I swear it." It makes me feel anxious and old and I don't care for it.

Actually this entire post makes me feel anxious and old. But also relieved that thus far the worst social media picture is of a foot and that substance abuse is limited to candy corn and Coca-Cola. But still in a state of disbelief that I have a child who keeps demanding we take her to drive circles in empty parking lots. Isn't it funny how our number one job as parents is to teach them independence, and then when that independence finally asserts itself it clinches us around our hearts with the ferocity of an industrial-grade vise?

Ah, the push and pull of parenthood.

Mothers and fathers of babies, and toddlers, and even elementary school-age kids, remember this: for every shoelace you tie, or every pureed sweet potato you scrape off your wall, for every time you fall into bed exhausted after wrangling multiple wild and filthy children through the bath ... there will come a time you will yearn for the simplicity of those days.

Yep, I said simple. I know those days are rough. Exhausting. You're chasing a constantly moving target, and my Lord what a mess it creates in its wake. But one day you wake up, and all of a sudden there is a target. And it's no longer your target ... it's theirs. There's talk of GPAs and college essays and setting up shop in some dorm room on a faraway college campus. And my friend, you will yearn for those days of shampooing crusted pasta sauce out of someone's hair right after you pick up 72,458 legos for the millionth time in a three-hour timespan.

I think this quote from Robin Williams' character in Dead Poet's Society sums it up nicely:

"...if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? ---Carpe --- hear it? --- Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day ...."

Because every single time I look at my daughter, the one with the mangled feet who's mentally calculating her GPA in her head as we speak, that awful political chant pops up in my head like a whack-a-mole ...

"Four More Years."


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