Today's guest post is by Jessica Buttram. She's a funny mom of two and a wife of one. She blogs at Meet the Buttrams. She writes funny and/or poignant pieces on parenting. Here's one of my favorites, which you read right after this.
Take it away, Jessica...
-- I have a seven-year-old boy. Which means I have the equivalent of a Ph.D in parenting. So it was no surprise, really, when Ricky (the equivalent of a high school student on his ﬁrst college visit) asked me to guest post on his blog. So listen up, Ricky! Everything I am about to write is GOSPEL. Heed the Ph.D that I just made up.
Here’s what I know (pencils ready?) about parenting: it is not for the fainthearted. PENCILS DOWN!
Here’s the dealio, Coolio.
Here’s the dealio, Coolio.
Your brand-new, totally dependent, soft and squishy, lavender-scented baby who popped out all like, Whaaaaat?, immediately and instinctively knowing he belonged to you and no one else…will grow up. Tomorrow, even, he’ll start doing something new that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Like, smiling. Smiling’s my favorite. And then, you’ll blink approximately seventeen times, and your brand-new baby will be a squealing, giggling, running, falling, somewhat independent toddler. It’s happening to me AS WE SPEAK. My ﬁfteen-month-old, who took only about 15 minutes to get that old (it seems), can feed herself. She can climb things. She plays Hide-and-Seek (mostly just Seek). When she’s done eating, she doesn’t wait for me to lift her out of her high chair. She stands up and tries to swan-dive onto the hardwood ﬂoor. Consequently, I not only have a Ph.D, I am also trained in the art of trapeze acrobatics. (Diversity, people.)
And then, when you turn your back to do the dirty dishes or mountain of laundry you’ve left unattended for the last three or so years, your baby will be heading to Kindergarten. And then? Well, then Time really begins to ﬂy.
This person, this tiny, pocket-sized person who grows steadily every single second, has, in his tiny, pocket-sized ﬁst, the complete ability to bash your heart in, to sucker-punch you in the aorta, to squeeze the life unmercifully from your heartstrings.
And that’s all I really KNOW about parenting (sorry, Ricky Tikki Tavi, I hope you weren’t expecting a How-To For Dummies).
I KNOW that the love you have for your child is a violent love. It invades you. It conquers you. It takes no prisoners. It moves in and it stays for life. BUT (and here’s the good news for today) that love? That Rambo love? It’s a pretty good tyrant. That is, when you aren’t totally crushed by its sheer weight. And take it from this circus scholar, there will be days when you are literally unable to function until you press your son’s body against your chest, feel his puffy cheek bury into curve of your neck, the smell of his baby shampoo like a shot of heroin…or coffee, whatev.
Because it’s that love that forces you to be better, to be honest and selﬂess and more of the Self God intended you to be. And maybe, sometimes, even a little crazy.
AND…here’s the kicker!…it allows us, as parents, a rare and exclusive glimpse into the inﬁnite capacity of God’s own love for us.
And that? Well, it doesn’t really get any better than that.