A few days ago, I was driving through the parking lot at Publix and I braked and waved a mum and her 2 kids across the traffic. Her hand lifted in a ‘thank you’ wave and then practically leapt down and latched on to her 4 year old’s hand. Her younger child had a pained look on her face and her little fingers twisted and turned and fought the grip her mum had on her.
I literally had an epiphany.
Oh my gosh. It’s not just me. My son is not the only child in the whole world that hates having his hand held. It is, in fact, all children everywhere in the whole entire.
Funnily enough, this was really a kind of shocking epiphany. I think as you are parenting, it is very hard to remember that what you are doing is what all parents are doing everywhere. Even though it very well may be the most frustrating thing ever, or the grossest thing ever. Or the sweetest thing ever. Whatever those things are, they are being repeated endlessly everywhere.
So two days of really awful diarrhea? Yup, that’s going on somewhere.
A 3 year old, running carelessly around the YMCA pool deck with his father shouting at him? Yup, that too.
Asking for a hug before bedtime and getting “No, maybe later Mummy” as a response. Most likely this is happening in every single home around the world simultaneously.
And just to complain for a second, I had to force a hug from my child tonight. First time. Every night I usually get joyous hugs and smooches, without even asking for them.
Tonight, Edward picked up Vince, handed him to me and then placed his arms around my neck, mimicking a hug. Half a second later, V wiggled out of my arms and proclaimed it was Daddy’s night and essentially banished me to the living room.
Hm. It appears as if my years of overly loving on my son might be approaching their end.
But, at the same time, it really does help to have these epiphanies. Because honestly it is really easy to forget that you are not the only one going through all of this ridiculous, dramatic, wailing, flailing, smart-mouthed, talking back, pooping everywhere (or nowhere) life.
Everyone else is too. Don’t forget.