I've been thinking a lot lately about something Joseph B. Wirthlin said in his last General Conference address before he passed away, "Come what may, and love it." Such a poignant phrase coming from one of my favorite apostles and something I've drawn from often since he said it.
The word "tolerance" is one I've always had issues with. Perhaps it's the way it's thrown around that makes me think of a tight-lipped, breath holding effort to grin and bear whatever it is you're tolerating. I don't like the idea of tolerating the hard things in life, especially people (or tantrum-throwing toddlers). They're not skunks where you pinch your nose and hold your breath as they walk by- they're people.
I read an awesome article that was circulating on Facebook that perfectly described my feelings of being a mother. It was as if the author was in my mind observing and taking notes on a day in the life of Rita.
I don't want to tolerate being a mother, I want to love it- all of it, but so many times I don't. And then I realize it's okay if I don't love it all. I can love things that are hard... and that make me want to pick up drinking... and that make 8:30pm (bedtime) the very best part of the day. Sometimes it's because things are so hard that we love them so much. It wasn't the exhaustion or throbbing knees of the 26.2 miles of my first marathon that make the memory of it so sweet. It was the fact that I had done something hard.
Telling each other what comes out of our children's mouths is usually how Dennis and I are entertained now days. Last week was full of these little moments that make us realize that while being a parent is by far the hardest things we'll ever do, it is also the most entertaining. And it's often during those moments of unbelievable cheekiness coming out such a small little mouth in a Mickey Mouse voice that makes it all the better.
Dennis was running some errands with the kids in the van while I was at work. Lauren kept unbuckling her seat belt and bouncing around in the back. He turned to her and warned her, "Lauren, sit down. You're testing my patience."
To which she retorted, "Yeah? Well you're testing mine and I'm going to knock you out."
He may have felt a little more threatened if it hadn't come out of the mouth of a little nymph in pig-tails but all he could do was laugh and call me to tell me what "your daughter" had said.
The other day I sneaked up behind Luke and kissed him on the cheek while he was playing on the computer. He turned to me with his finger up his nose (apparently he had been right in the middle of doing some serious gold mining when I kissed him) and said, "Mom, your kisses are SO gross."
To which I said, "Yeah? Grosser than it was for me to kiss you with your finger halfway up your nose?"
"Yup... even grosser than that," as he triumphantly showed me the finding from his latest nasal dig.
Wow... well when you put it that way...
A few days ago I was showering Lauren as she howled and screamed bloody murder the entire time. You'd think I was tearing her limbs off one by one instead of lathering her up. After the shower was done and I was drying her off, Dennis came upstairs to see what all the screaming had been about. "It was Mom. She was totawee fweakeen out (totally freaking out)," Lauren explained to him as she wrapped herself in a towel and huffed out the door.
Again, she instantly became "your daughter."
Yes, I can love hard things.