I freely admit that many of the aspects of parenting that others seem to derive pleasure from are actually a source of irritation and inconvenience to me and this, in part, was my motivation behind starting this blog. I sometimes question whether I am really cut out for parenthood when I turn down invitations to ‘Sing-a-long Frozen’ without a moment’s hesitation (on the basis that I have no desire to sit through it, regardless of whether my children might wish to!) and did not even consider pulling out of my end-of-term social with work colleagues even when it became apparent that my attendance there would prohibit Ana from attending a choir concert.
I know these cold hard facts make me look bad. I realise that some people may wonder why I had children if I am so unwilling to sacrifice my fun for the sake of theirs, but I hold fast to the idea that a happy parent maketh a happy child (I added the ‘th’ to make it sound like an ancient decree, but I did – admittedly – make that up to suit my own ends!).
Anyway, the purpose of this post is to point out that – whilst at times it may seem as if I don’t care – my children are, in reality, the absolute best things in my life and I never failed to be amazed by the fact of their existence. I have daily moments in which I stare in disbelief at these little people who have found their way into my world and I wonder at the miracle of it all.
As my girls get older, I think I feel this even more keenly. I have written before about the strangeness of seeing my children as little people who think and act differently to me, but I never fail to find this both wonderful and terrifying. The more they grow, the more they start to become uniquely themselves and say and do things that are new to me. They are now more than just a reflection of their parents or even their peers. They are developing their own sense of humour; their own mannerisms; their own style. I find myself wanting to both freeze these moments in time and simultaneously fast forward life to see what they are still to become.
In amongst all of this is my amazement that I have a role in their lives. The privilege of parenting is something I may mock, but I honestly do not take it for granted. I frequently gaze at my two girls and wonder at the good fortune that has brought them into my life. In the words of the great Stevie Wonder, they really are ‘the sunshine of my life’ and even on the rainiest days, this remains the constant thread.
I will continue to complain, and shout and tear my hair out when they drive me mad. I may even continue to make decisions that favour my enjoyment over theirs, but I know, and (more importantly) they know, that they are my world …. and my sunshine.