They say “kids keep you young.” I don’t think that’s entirely true. Most days I feel like my kids are making me age prematurely. I’m constantly exhausted, I feel like I never get anything done, and my house is constantly a mess.
But then one of them will do or say something that makes me laugh so hard or reminds me why I had a lot of children. This sort of thing is even more apparent of late because we’ve had a house guest who has not been jaded by being around the din and the mess nonstop for the last ten years as I have.
I have gotten to see my kids through fresh eyes, as their antics make our guest laugh. The boys wanting him to play video games that he’s never played and assuming he’ll automatically know what to do. My daughter dancing like a ballerina. The baby pulling him by the hand to the fridge and begging for more juice. All of them with their innocent, open personalities, saying what they think, accepting without judgment, loving unconditionally.
Each of my kids have distinct personality traits, strengths and weaknesses, good moments and bad. So many times I see the toys all over the floor, the time wasted in front of the TV, the tantrums, and the picky eating, and I totally overlook the intelligence when my oldest laughs at a stupid pun when he really gets it and understands why it’s funny, the love when my second just wants to snuggle because he misses spending one-on-one time with his mommy, the sweetness when my daughter helps her brother with whatever he’s trying to accomplish, the cleverness when the baby knows to push a stool or chair into the other room to climb up to get a snack.
Having a fresh set of eyes, seeing my kids again through the lenses of someone who thinks everything they do is adorable has given me a renewed appreciation for the sweet, generous, thoughtful, darling children I’ve raised. It has pointed out to me the areas in which I could be a better mom and made me proud of the ways in which I have trained them to be kind, thoughtful, more-or-less obedient people who really are a joy to be around. And
And it helps me remember that even though some days I feel like they’re pushing me toward an early grave, at the same time they really are keeping me young.