Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Come What May, and Love it

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.


Cristina said...

Your kids are so cute Rita! It's great you have all those funny memories written down... I need to start doing that too :)

Merrick Family said...

I wish I had started doing it sooner. It makes me a little sad to think of the things I've forgotten because I missed writing them down!

Becky said...

Oh I just love your kids! I agree, the best part of parenting young kids is the funny, cheeky, sweet things they say. Love it!

Teresa said...

Love it Rita! It's so important to remember those moments and record those funny little things. Thanks for reminding me, I haven't done it in a while. YOUR daughter kind of sounds like mine : )

Fortunes said...

Isn't being a mom the best! (well most of the time)

Merrick Family said...

Yes, I just wish I had a camcorder out more often to actually video tape them in the act. Writing it down just doesn't do justice to their little voices and the attitude they have when they say it!

Merrick Family said...

That's what happens when there's a girl that comes after a bunch of brothers, I tell ya. They learn to hold their own. But I wouldn't want it any other way. Better a firecracker than a pushover!

Merrick Family said...

It really is. There's nothing else I'd rather do. I keep saying this, but we really need to get together! I want to meet your little guys! I think they'd play well with my boys.