Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Do we have it all?

My friend Susie recently pointed me in the direction of a writing contest on the topic of whether or not we have it all.  The deadline was Oct. 1st.  Some 16 days ago.  I'm a little late.  But I've been thinking about the topic often.  At first I started to make a list of all the things that parents do have:

first smile
giggle giggles
blowing bubbles in the bath
sleep training
finger grasping
lost blankies
favorite stuffy
laundry laundry laundry
pooping on the potty
soccer practice in the rain
nightmare in the dark
waddle waddle diaper walk
first bike
feed the dog your dinner
not funny
time out
for mommy too
brush your teeth
try this peach
polka dotted footed pajamas
diaper rash
rats nest morning hair
did you just say "no" to me?
tickle bug
better yet...zerbert
nappie time
Ring Around the Rosie
tumble class
finger paints
toe nail polish- on the floor!
1st tooth
favorite book
sweet sweet dreams
milk breath
sweaty fever head
the best hugs in the world
Whose bed is this?
That's okay, I'll share because you are mine.

I could go on and on but I don't know, this came instead:

All my jeans used to have holes in the knees.  That's when I was changing two sets of ammonia smelling cloth diapers every two hours.  Kneeling at the baby in front of me on the floor, kneeling at the toilet spraying poopy diapers, kneeling at the washing machine loading them in.  I should have bought more Carhart's with the reinforced knees.  Shortly after this I wanted to put a hole in my head because my 3 year old daughter started to say "no" to me.  A defiant stubborn absolute NO.  I spanked her once because I didn't know what else to do and then I cried.  Lately I feel like I have holes in my elbows as I arm wrestle them to pick up their dirty socks, put away their clothes, take the recycling down the the basement.  But then there are the holes in the ground we dig together to plant the crops in the Spring.   And there are the holes in the blankies that they curl up next to me on the couch to watch me mend.  And there are the holes in the socks that I have to throw in the trash- just one more symbol of their growth.  Like the holes in their mouths from missing teeth and the holes in their understanding of how the world works.  But we'll try to change that.  Me and him.  Mom and Dad.  We'll teach them to turn the pancakes when there are holes in them and how to mend a hole in a sweater, a wall, or even a heart.  They'll find out where the holes in their arguments are, what it feels like to have money burning a hole in their pocket, and maybe even the joy of getting a hole in one.  They'll make wishes on the whole of the moon and follow a road or two with many potholes, learning as they go.  I'm  hoping they meet beautiful people who complete them and who they can start on a whole new path together with.  I'm trying not to think about the hole in my heart that I'll have when they leave this nest or how I'll fill that hole, or mend it, or accept it.  But we'll build a bridge across that river when we get there.   I guess what I'm saying is that we can't have it all- ever.  Not with all these holes.  It's just that there are too many places to fill.  We can't have it all.  What we must do is seek the joy in filling in these empty spaces.  And then keep looking out for where the next small cave might be.

Thanks Susie!  I didn't get it in on time.  But you made me think and that's one way of filling in the holes in my brain!


  1. thanx for sharing. i don't think it was an underlying intention, but i also like how as you went thru all the kids' holes, you ended up with wholes...

  2. Loved it! Glad it was inspiring, next time we'll keep you on schedule for the cash ;)


  3. Love this. Thanks!