Here's to the magical boredom. The wonder-filled drudgery. The beautiful slog.
This is for the parents. The caretakers. The ones who love and fight. The ones with big hearts, strong spines, and gritted teeth. The ones who take care. The ones that bend down towards their little ones as well as bend over backwards for them. Here’s to the slog. The chaos. The scraping by. Here’s to heaving your way through the day. Through dishes, sloppy dinners, guilt, and a well packed bag with everything from snacks to clothing changes.
Here’s to boredom. To standing and watching your child do it themselves slowly, stubbornly, poorly. To the impatience that gnaws at the edges of pride. Here’s to waiting. To going achingly slow. Here’s to making a meal, washing dishes, and tidying up on repeat for years. Here’s to repetition. To actions that are so deeply habitual that they escape your notice.
Here’s to the immense pool of patience it takes to teach a small human how to be human. How to sort silverware. How to put shoes on the correct feet. How to fall and get up. How to be angry without hitting people. How to cry and be hurt and talk about it. How to make. How to make mistakes. How to sleep. How to dream.
Here’s to exhaustion. The way is clings heavily to your eyelids and the back of your head. Here’s to the moment when you sit and the exhaustion waves through your body attempting to shut everything down to stillness. Here’s to the exhaustion when you don’t sit, but remain standing, shuffling around the house, doing just one more thing before bed.
Here’s to being ground down, having nothing left to give, but still giving because your family is still awake, still hungry for dinner, still asking. Here’s to finding what is at the bottom of your cup, discovering the dregs that you have left.
Here’s to all the doing. Your lists. Your routines. To the way the tasks of a household are endless and unrelenting. Here’s to remembering that most of the things you do in a day will not be the sort of thing you can check off on a list. The work you do can’t be fully tracked or measured. Here’s to the things that stop you from getting things done. The care you provide for a sick child. The comfort your give after a tantrum. The booboos kissed. The sadness hugged and heard. Here’s to the moment when you chose to be there rather than to get things done.
Here’s to the things left undone. The misjudgements and misguided expectations. The mistakes and fucks ups. Here’s to getting it wrong. To the feelings of failure, guilt, and shame. Sometimes the feelings rise close to the surface so you can name them. Sometimes they linger low in the gut, an ongoing roiling that makes you shift your seat and take shallow breaths. These feelings are ugly. They are heavy and fill you with doubt. Here’s to these awful feelings that are the evidence of how deeply you care. The weight of holding something dear. The muck on the underside of love.
Here’s to the moments when you listen, squat down, and speak softly and slowly. The moments of patience and compassion. The moments of full presence with your child. The moments you so fully see and hear your child. Moments of connection. Understanding. Love.
Here’s to the moments when you break. When it’s too much. When your outer shell cracks and the emotions just pour out. Here’s to yelling. Crying. Hiding your face in your hands. Sighing. The moments when you’re short, red faced, and brash. Here’s to release. To feeling the feelings that come, even those you didn’t expect or thought you had under control. Here’s to opening yourself up even when it’s ugly and messy. Here’s to being a mess.
Here’s to the moments after the break: the softness, tissues, connection. Here’s to seeing your weaknesses, breaking points, limits. To understanding your boundaries. Here’s to getting to know you are a human. A human who is raising another human. Here’s to apologies. Asking for forgiveness. Love.
Here’s to feeling like you need a little hope and a lot more energy. To believing that tomorrow can be different. Here’s to faith. To change. To believing in miracles. Here’s to witnessing miracles. Knowing that the miraculous is among us. Knowing that you are a miracle. Here’s to going inward.
Here’s to the magic your child teaches you is everywhere. Seeping from their pores. Surrounding our bodies. Within us. Within you. Here’s to you.