Lately with our oldest son, I have been giving a lot of "Do Overs". When he snaps at his sister unnecessarily (which is happening more and more as we enter the preteen years), I simply said, "Do over..." He knows that he needs to say it again, whatever his request or demand, in another way. And he usually does a good job about it, though at times he will still argue with me about why he had the right to say it that way the first time. :) There are days he could and would argue with the wall.
Sometimes I wish life was like that. I wish I could just "do over" and erase whatever it was I just said and did. Don't you? (Or am I the only one who sometimes speaks off the cuff and with a little passion if I am feeling defensive?)
Recently someone was talking to one of my co-workers who is very pregnant. They were talking about the excitement of the baby coming. And my co-worker joked that she was excited, though sometimes my Facebook status updates scared her about what is to come. :) (They really aren't that bad, though I am not afraid to admit when it has been a rough day...often find I am not alone in that department)
Of course, I joked that IF it were that bad (and more), we obviously wouldn't have done it four times, the last two being "chosen" times. Obviously there are some high points of motherhood. A lot actually.
What is hard to explain to new moms-to-be though is all that comes with motherhood.
Like the joy of watching a little life unfold before your eyes.
The way your heart sings when your child eagerly tells you about stranger danger, how to spell the word "go", and that five and three makes eight.
The fatigue you feel at the end of the day...much of it physical from the demands of keeping up with kids, but also so much of it emotional when you have answered one question too many!
The heartbreak you feel when your child is rejected by a friend or comes to you with a 103 degree fever.
The irony you experience as you fold the warm pajamas of the child (because she needs them) who is screaming at the top of her lungs at you from the shower that she is NEVER EVER EVER taking a shower again (as she showers).
The loneliness you will feel when one child is gone for the day and how your family just feels imbalanced...
The difference it makes. Before you would spend money on a night or weekend getaway with your spouse for your anniversary. This year, you are saving that money for Christmas gifts that are just "right" for your child.
The patience you experience (sometimes thinly) as you explain for the 400th time that we do not hit other people or when you answer yet again what is for dinner (often followed by a grimace)
The communion you feel with other parents, along with the empathy you "get" as you walk into a store and see someone else's child on the floor in the middle of the tantrum (as well as the relief you get as you realize that today it is not yours :)
The love that you feel in your heart...and that it just expands with each child. Just when you think you can love no more, you do!
The prayers that are prayed daily, often for your children, for you with your children.
The way your heart melts when that sticky chubby hand reaches up and holds yours as you walk around your yard.
The inner groaning you do (with a smile on your face) as your child details another elaborate plan that will most likely result in a big mess.
The peace you feel as you snuggle on the couch reading a book together.
The intense guilt you feel daily over almost every decision, always wondering if you are doing the right thing.
The wish for do overs...for the days you snap at your precious child (even if they might REALLY be deserving), for the words that leave your mouth in a moment of frustration, for the opportunities missed to enjoy each moment with him/her.
These are just a few of the things that you cannot ever truly explain...it is just something you have to experience as you go. Sigh.