It's no secret I enjoy talking about my son. It's true that, as a 2.5 year old, he often tests my limits past the breaking point, but I'd rather not talk about that on a regular basis. I'd rather tell the store of the funny thing he said last night or adventures we had at the library. I'd rather talk about the fun things we're planning for a Halloween costume or a Christmas tradition. There's a lot to do with young children and sometimes I feel like I'm in the minority for enjoying any of it.
I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the fun things we had done the day before and she was surprised at the enjoyment of it all. Granted the girl is still rather young; at an age where most young people can't imagine focusing on anyone but themselves. (No judgement there - I went through that same phase myself.) However, it was shocking at just how shocking the idea of enjoying time with ones children was to her. Here was a girl who'd only been told by adults and peers that children were nothing more than soul and fun sucking little minions.
Her eyes widened as I told her how much fun it was to have a reason to watch all the Disney movies again or to spend an hour perusing the children's section at the library. I told her that it really can be fun spending the afternoon at the park or making a complete mess in the kitchen while making cupcakes. I told her that having kids, though they take time and energy and responsibility, gives you the excuse to be a kid yourself again and she was amazed. No one had ever talked about enjoying their children with her.
I understand - not everyones parenthood journey is all sunshine and rainbows, in fact no one's is. But isn't it saying something when a generation of young adults has never been told that kids can be fun? We should be telling our teenagers and young adults that kids are a lot of work because it's the truth and they need to know that's never a walk in the park. But, we should also tell them that every now and then between the whining and the diapers and the attitudes and the time - there are walks in the park.
And afternoons at the swimming pool.
And nights in bed with an endless stack of all the best kids books you had forgotten you had loved.
And rainy days with a stack of movies and a bowl of popcorn.
In the end the idea that you can enjoy your time with your children shouldn't be such a novel idea.