You know which ones I read twice? Or regularly?
The ones that acknowledge the hard parts, and the best parts. The ones who see their kids as real, whole people. And the ones who remember that they are, too.
I have an innate distrust for anyone who is, as I've heard it put, "photoshopping their lives", taking every picture with the best camera, and then applying all the tips, tricks, and filters, to make their lives seem less real, and more fantasy. They seem to go hand and hand with titles that offer advice on how to have the cleanest windows, the fanciest handicrafts, and the most well rounded kids. They give the impression that reading their blog will confer the perfection of their lives, onto you.
But I just keep thinking that my life is a lot of nitty-gritty.
It's a Liam who's looking a little rough around the edges because he desperately needs a haircut, and he hates them (I think it feels weird on his scars) so I've been putting it off. And it's him holding a balloon and looking at it in complete wonder, saying, "bawoon!" over and over again (until I turn the camera on, of course).
It's a Brennan who refuses to nap, but then falls asleep every day before dinner. Which leads to the Same. Freaking. Fight every night where he says he's not hungry, but we all know he's going to be a complete pain in the ass until he eats. And it's him, wanting hugs from me all the time, and snuggling into me in a way that just fits. Like he was built to cuddle with me.
It's a Quinn who wants to play on the Wii all day and not share with his brothers. And it's him cuddling on the floor with Liam because he thought maybe Liam was sad.
It's a Ciaran who keeps unlocking my bedroom door and getting into things he shouldn't. And it's him holding my hand and telling me he loves me.
It's Bridget shouting at her sister at the top of her lungs. And it's her actually listening when I teach her a new way to communicate.
It's Piper driving me bonkers with her Sonic obsession. And it's her drawing me a picture and helping with a younger sibling.
It's Reagan spending too much time on the computer and yelling at someone. And it's him telling me I should take a nap, because I work too hard.
It's Karina, well, Karina almost never drives me crazy. Being the Bonus Kid has it's perks.
Life is real, and it's lived, and we should live it completely. We should acknowledge the parts that make us start eyeing the wine bottle at noon and counting the hours till bedtime. But we should equally embrace the parts that make us want to hold our babies and make time stop so that they will never ever grow up!
I may share advice here, if I've learned things that work. And I've spent over a decade breastfeeding, many years pregnant, many years changing diapers and babywearing and potty training. I have definitely learned a few things along the way.
But I promise, I will never write as if I am the expert at anything beyond putting one foot in front of the other, and living this nitty-gritty, imperfect life.
The one I'm unbelievably grateful for.