All of the troubles that I put them through came clear. It doesn’t matter how much these kids put me through, I will love my sons.
I went on and on about no matter how frustrated I was with them, I would always love them. I repeated myself over… and over… and over again. It was actually a very boring post that I was hoping would be meaningful but turned out to be crap… and I didn’t want to put you through that.
It was all true though. It doesn’t matter what my kids do, I will continue to love them. They can wake up at night. Have me ask them 15 times to put their shoes on to only answer with, “what?” I can step on a Lego and bust my foot open bleeding across our floor… and I will still love them. OK maybe that last one is a bit of an exaggeration.
But it doesn’t matter. They are my kids and I will always ALWAYS love them.
The baby was up at his usual 3 am diaper change and feeding. I don’t quite know what my body is going to do when he starts sleeping through the night since 3 am has become the new 7 am. 5 am hit, which is now slowly starting to become a new normal too, and I woke up with him to change his diaper and feed him.
I was in his room rocking and feeding him… trying not to dose off. When I hear a, “I’m scared!” coming from the other room. In a matter of seconds I see our 5 year old walking into the baby’s room and sitting on the floor.
Remembering a moment I had this past Friday when I was driving in the car and it it me that, no matter what I will love these kids. We had just finished eating at a restaurant and even though our 5 year old was not on his best behavior (but not his worst by far) I decided I would stop to get ice cream. He has been incredibly patient with his brother and the fact that he is taking up time that used be his. I’d thought I’d reward him for being the brother and son that he was.
Because no matter what, I love these kids.
As I remembered that moment, I talked in my softest parent voice and asked what was wrong and once he explained that he was scared of the dark, I told him that we gave him a new lamp in his room so it wasn’t dark. I could see the wheels spinning, amazingly at 5 am. He knew that I had outsmarted him… again at 5 am. I asked him to go back to bed and soon it will be time to wake up… plus the new Odd Squad movie was coming out for him to watch.
Off to bed he went.
I had put our other son back to bed and made my way back to bed myself. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep since it was so close to my alarm going off. I laid there thinking that I could make my way to the gym or I could try to catch another hour of sleep. I chose to try and sleep, a decision I will come to hate.
I hear footsteps bolting from a room and our door knob opening, loudly because our 5 year old can’t do anything quietly… ask his brother. He runs to mommy’s side of the bed, he knows that I will show no sympathy. “The ceiling was spinning!” “OK you can get in bed but you need to stay still and go back to sleep.”
An hour later and 7 “would you please stay still.” my alarm went off.
“Is it time to get up daddy?”
Now, here is something I will never understand as a parent. Why is it that on a day that my son doesn’t have to be up at a certain time, will he want to get up on his own… very early? But on the days he has to be up and ready for school, he is, to put it nicely, a pain in the ass to get up?
“No, go to sleep and don’t wake up mommy.”
Being a man of routine, he knows how my mornings go. Shower, brush teeth, shave, shirt, pants, and lastly socks. When I sat down to put my socks on he looked at me, “Now is it?”
“Sure you can come down stairs, but this time I get to watch what I want to watch.”
“This is boring dad. Can you watch something else?”
“No are you hungry?”
I started to pack my lunch for work and was getting ready to head out the door, when…
“5 minutes ago you weren’t! But now you are?”
I slide my backpack off and make him a bowl of cereal. At this point I had not turned it off Sportscenter hoping and praying that would somehow forget to use the remote. I wanted to teach him a lesson. He won’t always get his way and when he knows he is being a pain, he won’t get it. Who was I kidding, he knew how to use it, and more than likely, he wouldn’t watch his “morning shows.” He knew that I wouldn’t be there and mommy wasn’t awake yet.
But I stopped before heading out the door and turned, looked at him at the table and said,
“Do you remember what today is?”
“The Odd Squad Movie Day!”
“Ssshhh don’t wake up mommy or the baby.” I said turning the TV to the local PBS station.
I looked back at him before leaving… walked up to him, kissed him and told him I love him.
It was in that moment, that I saw my parents in me. All of the troubles that I put them through came clear to me. It doesn’t matter how much these kids put me through, I will continue to love them.
No amount of sleep deprivation can stop me.
Because no matter what, I love my sons.