Before we had kids, Patrick was a little nervous about becoming a father. Who could blame him? Being a father is a tremendous amount of responsibility, hugely expensive, noisy and messy… But parents repeatedly assured us that every moment was worth it at the end of the day, thanks to the love and joy that parents get to share with their children.
This dichotomy of being a parent, while simultaneously feeling unyielding love and complete frustration is clearest when trying to parent a sick toddler.
Our sick kid ruled his seat as the dictator of our house for five days last week with a healthy thirst for power, needs that could not be satisfied and a sad, pouting lip that made my heart ache. The whole time that I was attempting to care for my patient, I was thinking about the book that we often read to him before bed- I Love You Forever.
If you haven’t read it, be warned- its a total tear-jerker.
The basic gist of the story is that a mom brings home her bundle of joy, only to have him grow up, routinely make messes of her home, alienate her, and forces her to say things like, “This kid is driving me CRAZY!!”
Then, late at night, when her beloved son is sleeping, she picks him up and rocks him singing, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
There is nothing sweeter to a parent than a sleeping, happy kid. Except maybe one that is finally sleeping through a fever that you’ve been trying to help him battle.
This book pulls at the heartstrings of a parent, because it is so… real. One minute, your kid can go from making you feel like your house has become a zoo to making you feel like all is right in the world.
If you’re not a parent, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. If you are, and haven’t read this book, be sure to dig up a copy. But grab some tissues.
I’ve got a kid to go cuddle.