Sometimes, after I have yelled and hit my head against the wall in frustration, I look at your face and count your freckles.
When I am too tired to keep my eyes open at night, I stumble past the cluttered coffee table and nearly burst into tears at the sight of the kitchen sink. I see that you’ve used four different cups in the last four hours, then I sneak into your room and give you kisses while you sleep.
I sigh at your attitude and 10 minutes later I grab you for a hug. My shoulders slump when I see your mountain of laundry on the basement floor, but as I fold your shirts I smile at how much you’ve grown.
I want to stomp my feet because it’s impossible to get you to bed on time, and in the morning I am happy to hear your footsteps when you climb out of bed and I know we’re about to start another day together.
This job – this blessing – it is work and happiness and exhaustion and sunshine. It is tears, sleepless nights, worry-filled days, and joy beyond compare. It’s being thrilled for how far you’ve come and being frozen in fear when I think about the future.
I am proud, I am scared, I am confident, I am confused.
I am a parent.