Yesterday I brought a car full of kids home from the beach. I had my three and two others, all around the same ages and all students at the same school. The car was loud-as is to be expected. In our short fifteen minute trip we dissected the topics of adoption and living after a parent dies. I would say it was a heavy car ride, but in the middle of these two conversations, there was loud group singing of a Katy Perry song.
I was included in the conversation a few times when I was asked an opinion, but mostly I just listened as these incredibly well-spoken young ladies and the gentleman (the other male mostly stared out the window) had mature conversations all with the openness and purity that comes with being young.
As I realized my fortune at knowing these people, I realized THIS is what I have been waiting for. When I had dreams of parenting my visions included hoards of kids spilling in my doors and dropping back packs to gather around the kitchen table for snacks, laughs and conversation. I dreamed of my own mom and how she was the sounding board for so many of our friends. I dreamed of our kitchen growing up that was always full of kids-young and old-who seemed at home no matter whether they were related or not.
That is the motherhood I dreamed of. I have suffered (Yes, suffered. Anyone who tells you different is hoping to be a martyr or lying through their teeth.) through diaper changes, and colic and three sets of terrible twos. (I’d say terrible threes if you want to know the truth but that’s a post for another day.) I have answered countless “whys” and read way too many board books out loud. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I do cherish the memories of their early days.
But this, the car-fulls of chatty children, this is what I hoped for all those years ago in the delivery room. Make no mistake, I understand my place is on the periphery. I am not their friend so my job is to listen and observe, not take a place. I’ve had my chance at the kitchen table already. Now, I just get to watch, learn and love from afar.
What a gift this kind of motherhood is. I’m so glad I made it here.
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