the gift

by humanmama on October 11, 2012

Often I write something that relates, either directly or indirectly, to how amazing it is to have children. Bringing another human being into this world, and/or raising another human being to adulthood in this world: these are no easy tasks. The challenges, the hardship, the tears and the failure are part and parcel of being a parent. And, of course, I often write about the other part as well.

The gift. Children give you a gift when they come into your lives. The gift is a chance–a chance to live up to their expectations. It’s an amazing thing–a true gift that you really can’t find anywhere else in this world. There’s never another person, not even your spouse or partner, that truly will know you like your children. Who will love you like your children. Kids have instilled in them from the start that you are the best parent in the universe. You can be a drunk crack-smoking junkie and they’ll still think that, for the most part, as long as you show them love and feed them. So for us, the average just-tryin’-to-do-my-best parent, living up to their expectations is easier. Sure, they’ll eventually grow up and see your shortcomings, but in all they’ll go out of their way, mostly, to stick up for you being a good parent.

It’s really amazing. There’s no other word for it. It’s a chance to be as good as they think you are, which is “the best.” And since I’m terrible at sports, and so-so at learning a language, and okay at keeping a clean house, and fair at being on time, they’re giving me a chance to do something that I can’t do in any other aspect of my life: to be the best. And the greatest thing about that is that it inspires me to actually be the best. It inspires me to put down the iPad, the cell phone, the computer and do something with them. It inspires me to look outside more. To be amazed more. To look forward to life. To laugh more, and, of course, to cry more. But it’s inspiring. An amazing love, boundless. A love that morphs and changes and still, even after screaming “I HATE YOU” as a teenager, is filled with an absolute and endless admiration and love for you. One that you return with all your heart and soul like nothing else.

Which is pretty cool. And, probably, is why we just keep having them.

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