Learner’s Permit for Motherhood
There were some things they forgot to mention when I was getting my Learner’s Permit for Motherhood. The study guide I got free from Babies R Us didn’t have one page, no not even one sentence, on these items! I feel the need now to write at least one new chapter for you future parents or future non-parents (if after reading the study guide, you decided to get a dog instead.)
- Children don’t go somewhere else for the weekend like your students do if you are a teacher and give you a much-needed two days to recupe. If you weren’t a teacher you might not have expected that, but somehow subconsciously I must have because it came as a major shock when one week ran slam-banked into the next.
- Nights are much longer than days when your baby is sick. Clocks get stuck right around midnight and the minute hand runs backwards a half step for every minute forward. It is a proven fact. I saw it on Wikipedia with confirming statements from a Swiss clock-maker (they’re the best, you know) and a disclaimer that it is not their fault and they can’t be held responsible for anything involving babies.
- Babies only last about three months. They are children after that, but some are teenagers for about 47 years in the 7-year period. That, too, is a fact found in the same article mentioned above, but you can confirm it with almost any parent of a teenager, except those parents of the two in my creative writing class who are exemplary teens and will pass through their teen-ness at an accelerated pace, no doubt winning the Nobel Prize for teen-speed.
- Parenthood never ends. What? You thought you were signing up for 18 blissful years and expected a diploma with summa cum laude engraved on it at the end? Well think again, ostrich! Example: Just this weekend my son, daughter-in-law and grandson came over for the weekend. You know how parents are supposed to be good role models for their children? Right! And you know how the house never looks dirty until company is coming and then you see all the dust bunnies, cobwebs, and coffee stains in the sink (hopefully the first two aren’t in the sink or else you really are a bad housekeeper)? Well, even though my children have seen my house messy many times and have been the cause of said mess a great deal of those times, I’m up Friday morning early to model good housekeeping behavior. Not that they don’t have it already themselves, but because I can’t let the truth come out now, 39 years later! You see, parenthood really never ends. You can’t let your guard down for a minute or you’re busted!
But in case it sounds like parenthood is a drag and you’ve even decided to leave the dog at the no-kill shelter, there’s a few more things they left out of the Babies R Us study guide.
- A phone call, text, facebook message, skype, instagram, or card in snail-mail from one of your children is better than chocolate fudge on a cloudy day. Better than money in the bank. Better than passing Go. It is sunshine in your heart.
- When your kid wins anything—the gold egg at the Easter Egg Hunt, a ribbon at the fair for his prize pig, first seat in the clarinet section, tickets to the tractor pull that you really didn’t want to go to and now you have to—anything!—you find a way to weave it into the conversation with you friends, your family, your pastor and his wife on Sunday morning.
- No matter where your kid is you check the weather to see if he/she is going to have a sunny day. I have been known to change morning news stations to one that gives me both Georgia (son and family) and Idaho/Wyoming (daughter) weather.
You see, I took the test without all the important information and somehow I passed. But the real questions were never asked until I asked them myself.
And the answers—-well, they came to me with love.