Wednesday, June 29, 2011

B is for Botatoes and Balogna

"B" is for "Botatoes."  Why?  The other night Jossie says, "Everything we're eating for dinner tonight starts with 'b'!"  "Really?" We reply.  "Yes," she says, "Beef, broccoli, bread, and botatoes!"

Big smile on the inside.

Joe enlightened her, of course.  

Oh, but those are the moments.  The moments you want to write on your heart forever.  Like the times when they laugh, and throw their heads back, and bat their cute long eye-lashes at us.  The moments where they climb higher on the playground and wait for your joy at their accomplishments.  The moments where they snuggle, and grab your face and say, "I love you sooo much!"  The moments when it hurts to look at them because you love them sooo much more!  The moments when the clothes they pick out look so awful, but they are so confident and happy in them that you just don't say anything.  The moments when they sing songs of pure joy, and make-believe.  When they spontaneously sing about how much they love Jesus while nobody's listening in the back yard.  

Those moments bring a joy that is hard to put into words.  

Now, why "B" for "Bologna?"  

The other day Yahoo! had an article about how "they've" discovered that people with no children are actually happier.  And that's where I give a resounding "Bologna!"  (Cuz I surely wouldn't use a more uncivilized word that starts with B here!  I won't lie, I'd rather).

What has happened to our society that we actually study and believe such things?  We are like frogs in a pot.  We don't even know that it has hit a boiling point.  What are our priorities?  Sure, it's easier to accomplish, go out to eat, socialize, make money, and feel important.

No doubt.

Don't get me wrong, I get that there are people who want children and can't, or are single.  Or maybe even think they are too messed up for kids.  I'm not really addressing those issues, because that's not what this article was about.  It was a general statement that children are inconvenient, burdensome, and even that they are financially just a "bad idea."  

There isn't much glory for the world in chubby dirty little fingers, and wiping noses, and comforting injured little toddlers.  Or in breaking up fights over who had the favorite Barbie first, or sending kids to time-out.  Not much honor in dirty houses because relationships with your children come first.  Not much excitement when you stay home most days and your greatest accomplishment looks like a shower and you fed the kids, and maybe you read a couple of books to them, and encouraged some math lessons.  Nope.  

The article talked about how important "me time" is.  I guess it's lost on me.  I'm not saying I don't get over-touched, or that I don't love going to the grocery store alone.  But, I have to fight with every fiber to not believe that I'm missing out on something because I don't take personal vacations, or have the nicest clothes, or get manicures, or care about the latest star news.  No, I actually like my kids. And for that matter like being around them.

I want them to enjoy being a part of our family.  I want them to feel secure and to want to spend their time with us.  I want their souls to prosper, more than I want a beautiful home and a life that is successful in the world's eyes.  

How do you study and tell the Yahoo! peeps that children teach you about how great the love of God must be for us, if it resembles and exceeds how much we can love these sweet souls?  How do you put into words the level of love, and how parenting isn't always easy or clear-cut, but it's always worth it?  It far exceeds the financial drain.

The problem with our society is narcissism.  It's such a problem that we don't even recognize it when it's diagnosable.  It's all around.  We thrive on this sickness.  On me-ness.  We reward it.  We use and manipulate others to get to the top.  We whine about all the things we don't have if people around us do.  It's beyond "keeping up with the Jones'"  Our self-love and adoration is producing such false studies as this one.  It's evidence for years has been seen in the ultimate sacrifice of children's lives.  We're taught that if you don't use responsibility in the first place, and wind up carrying one of these financial kill-joy babies, then just eliminate it.  Because it's all about your choice, and what you want, and what's convenient.  Two-thirds of all viable pregnancies in New York city are ending in abortion.  Does anyone see a problem with that statistic besides me?  Does it seem to have anything to do with our self-importance?

It's true.  It's never convenient to have a baby.  It's never easy.

I wasn't trying to get political here, that's not what I want from this blog.  I didn't even have the topic of abortion in mind when starting this entry, but in realizing the nature of why this article emerged, I can't help but see the trends in our convenient society.  And to be honest, I don't hate women who make that choice.  I hurt for them.  They've been lied to that it's not a big deal.  I believe for most women, that eventually the reality of ending a beautiful and innocent life haunts them and tears apart their hearts.  There is forgiveness for them, but it doesn't change the fact that most will eventually be tormented by their decision.

OK, major rabbit trail there...

Back to people who are "happier" for not having kids.  Do they know what they're missing when a baby's breath slows and comforts to the sound of your voice singing?  When he wraps his chubby fingers around yours.  When she giggles at everything you do?

And, oh those hugs.  Only reserved for Mommy and Daddy.  The special, lingering, trusting, undeserved, dependent hugs.

Sometimes it's hard.  Really hard.  Sometimes you have a child with an illness that requires any chance of "me-time" you could have dreamed of having.  Sometimes that illness is debilitating for life, and you love them all the same.  Sometimes those kids grow up to make bad choices, and those parents ache for their child's peace in life.  Sometimes a parent loses a child and their heart feels like it's been ripped from their chest.

Ask any parent if they would trade in all of the "me-time" and financial success in the world for the chance of avoiding that pain.

I don't know any.

Because they love and are deeply loved.  And that is happiness.