Which is over here.
It’s funny, true, wonderful. Well, not ENTIRELY true. Because ’embrace the moment’ is never actually good advice. It ISN’T. Some moments are not worth embracing. Mopping up the vomit and diarrhea your child just deposited all over the bathroom, for instance. Nope. Not embracing it. I won’t. You can’t make me.
Realizing with horror that your kid just bullied someone. Nope!
I certainly won’t embrace the moment my braid fell with a plop into a kid’s shitty diaper.
Have you ever noticed it’s older parents who say this? They are remembering, misty-eyed, all the fond memories that they can. Not the ones they repressed because they were so goddamned traumatic or they just can’t remember because they were sleep deprived for seven entire years.
They are looking back on a highlight reel. Oh, his little fits used to be so charming, they convince themselves. Now he’s working in the commercial workout division of a bank and I’m realizing I should have been embracing the moments he wasn’t screwing over farmers and contractors so he could drive a BMW.
Or: he moved away and I’m sad and bored and it’s been so long since a howling child kept me up all night or a gradeschooler peed the bed for the 17th night in a row or a perseverating Aspergian tween angrily demanded to know WHY WE ALWAYS TAKE HIM CAMPING HE HATES CAMPING IT IS ITCHY AND HOT AND HE NEVER HAS FUN AND THERE ARE BUGS AND TENTS ARE GROSS AND HOW DARE WE DO SUCH A TERRIBLE THING for about an hour straight, that all I can now remember are the fuzzy cheerful images of when he caught his first fish on that bitterly disputed camping trip.
I love my kids. I would kill for them, stab armies in the eyes. I would lie and steal and charm and ass-kiss and do all the things I’ve already done and will continue to do: smiling at condescending administrators who want to deny them services. Patiently explaining to people you’d rather punch in the nuts what Tourette’s or autism is. Working long hours at jobs that bored the fuck out of me to pay the mortgage and feed the little stinkers. Fighting with them about homework I don’t actually care about because they need to have DISCIPLINE so they can have a FUTURE and then not hitting them when they begin their impromptu auditions for the lifetime role of Veruca Salt because some of their clothes are bought at Savers. Playing Twosquare again. And again. and again and againandagainandagainandagain.
Don’t you dare try to even hint that because I am not smiling delightedly when my kid brings home a horrific mid-semester evaluation after his parents have doggedly sat with him over his homework every single night that he refuses to turn in for some reason that I love him any less than you love yours.
‘Cause that’s what you’re saying when someone complains about parenting and you tell them to ‘enjoy the moment.’ You’re saying: you don’t have enough love for them. Enough patience. You are doing parenting wrong. YOU’RE DOING IT ALL WRONG.
And that’s not okay. Not even a little bit. Quit it.