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Today, I fell a little bit more in love with my son

April 13, 2012

But first, I was on a totally different track. We were at the playground, playing ourselves out before I could reasonably put the kids to bed, frankly. Here it was, a beautiful sunny day, the last of a week-long vacation, and we should have been living it up. But really, I was counting it down. Down until bedtime. I feel badly about that from time to time, even though I know all parents do it. At least, all parents who feel significant responsibility for their kids. Maybe people who can outsource much of their parenting don’t feel that, but I get a case if it regularly enough that it isn’t even noteworthy.

There has been some talk this week about work and mothering and whatnot. Those are fun conversations. Anyway, no matter what you consider work to be, I do it. I am employed. I even work at a job that is generally considered both hard and underpaid, so presumably Hillary Rosen would approve. While I am not a stay-at-home-mom, I do consider myself a full-time mom. I am my kids’ person–I do their everything. Besides the daycare thing, I hope Ann Romney would approve, too. So, I win. I’m always on, always in charge, always at work.

Yet my kids so rarely get the best of me. Most days, they get the hurried me in the mornings and the tired me in the afternoons. On days I don’t work, they get a distracted me or a sleepy me or (worst case scenario) a running-errands to keep my head above water me. This is not my best, and if there is anyone to whom I want to give my best, it’s my kids.

As I was considering this, my three-year-old was having a stand-off with a six-year-old “mean girl.” I’m not sure what she was saying, or why, but she was saying it to a babyish boy and using a stick for emphasis. Amos didn’t seem very impressed, and probably explained to her that he or his brother or sister or mother was bigger than this girl. Not sure where he picked up this defense, but he believes it solidly. After the altercation, PJ came over to assure me that he handled the whole situation (as far as I can tell, he did nothing but watch), and that he was now going to “protect” Amos from this major threat. PJ then spent the rest of our playtime strategizing on avoiding mean people in life; he had some pretty good ideas. He doesn’t get my best, but maybe he doesn’t need it.

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