When My Kid Eats Rocks

I keep waiting for it to get easier. I keep waiting for the day when the work and the rest even out to a nice, calm homeostasis. I love that word. Balance. Equality. Peace. Breeeeeeeeathe. Welcome to yoga class, please leave all negativity and natural clumsiness at the door.

I feel like I’m constantly swimming against the current, waiting to be able to poke my head above the water to see smooth seas ahead. But the truth is, I think I’m fighting the wrong battle.

This is it. This is my life, and this chaos will never stop. Sure, there are moments of piece and quiet, like this current one, with the whirring of the white noise coming through Seb’s monitor, threatening to lull me into an unwanted but so much needed nap. And then my little dinosaur wakes up because the temperature in his room is one degree lower than what he prefers it to be.

Why do I keep expecting this to be easy?

I’ve climbed literal mountains thinking I was going to die of heat stroke. I’ve held wall squats while my legs literally shook hilariously. I’ve run at an “all out pace” screaming in my head “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 30 SECONDS” and thrown up after…and then ran some more.

I’ve never gotten anywhere worth being without it nearly killing me. Raising children, literally one of the most important things I will ever do, is no exception. Shocker.

I used to play intramural sports in college. It should have been called “most of us are here for the free t-shirt, except that one team made up of female rugby players which is about the scariest, most awe inspiring thing I’ve ever seen” sports.

I have the heart of an athlete (aka, I like adrenaline), but the talent of nerd. So I’d be on the court or field, casually looking at the sidelines every few minutes waiting for my turn to tap out. The second I got to take a break, my eyes would be glued to the team, hungry to get back in the action.

Unsurprisingly enough, this has followed me into the rest of my non-humiliating sporting event life. I constantly want to tap out.

To have an outing, a date, an hour, a day, a coffee uninterrupted, a clean house, a workout, you name it. But the second I get away, I want to be back. It’s not because the uninterrupted time isn’t amazing, it’s just that it’s not as fulfilling.

Oh I’ll take the break, don’t get me wrong, and it is completely essential, but it’s not where the heart of my life lies.

The beating, blossoming, heart soaring moments of my life come when Seb is covered in barbecue sauce and laughing his face off because I’m banging the tray of his highchair with my hand. It’s the nights when Eric and I can barely move we’re so tired, but we laugh on the couch and talk about our dreams.

Seb is always trying to eat rocks. Every time we go outside, I have to keep a hand poised and ready to grab the rocks from him so that they don’t make it down that ever hungry gullet. It makes me not want to go outside. “Ugh.” I groan, “I’ll have to take rocks away from him”.

So, in other words, my perfectionist, cleanliness pursing, type A personality wants to prevent Seb from experiencing the great outdoors, because it might inconvenience me.

I don’t love every minute. I struggle with most of the minutes. But that’s where the magic happens. Those repetitive, minute, hard, in between moments are where I learn how to become bigger than myself. I learn how to Mom.

The naps will never be long enough, and the work time will always outweigh the play time these days. I will be tired. I will be imperfect. I will be terrible at responding to texts, and there will never be enough lunch options in my fridge.

But, damnit, I will hold on because this is the mountain I’m climbing and it is so worth it.

And Seb will keep trying to eat the rocks on the mountain because when he does manage to eat one, it will be so worth it.

– Maureen

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