Last week I was lamenting Lily's mercurial moods and wondering if I'd ever get to a point when I'd be able to do more than parent, work, cook and clean (read: work on that novel or paint or even just put on mascara).
She texted me this gem:
"I can promise you that this stage doesn't last forever. That you will, one day, sit down and read through your e-mails AND respond without interruption. You will go to the store alone (or be begging someone to go with you.) You will cook dinner in record time and have all your blogsignments done ahead of time. You will be juggling sports practices, four schedules, PTO, and a part-time job and still have a clean house. You will be rested and will feel humanoid again. I promise, not plomise*. In the meantime, just make sure you look at their faces."I tell my friends that everyone needs a Laura in their life. She is forever putting life in perspective for me and demonstrating how to be a better person and a better mother (she would forever deny her abilities to make others be a better person because she often thinks she's a horrible person, but that's a load of crap IMHO). Mothers and fathers all need to be reminded them that nothing in life is permanent, especially when it comes to children (she has six, so she knows what she's talking about).
And I do have such beautiful faces to gaze at:
So maybe my expectations for writing my novel by 30 is unrealistic given what's on my plate right now (OK, it's definitely unrealistic because I'm already 30). But - to carry on the plate metaphor (especially because I do like to eat) - eventually my plate will be less smorgasbord and more sensible salad. Or something.
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I dislike this cliche. I mean really, people choose to have a literal full plate, right? You only have yourself to blame for taking that second helping of macaroni and cheese or loading up on the mashed potatoes. It's not a really sympathetic situation to be in. Of course, I guess I chose to have children. Still -- and I don't think I'm whining by saying this -- having a toddler and an infant is a little bit more work then polishing off that extra dinner roll.
Note to self: Avoid cliches.
*Plomise is used as a substitute for promise when you don't intend to follow through on an action. IE: In a conversation with her teenager, Laura might say, "I never promised I'd drive you to the mall - I made a plomise. Not the same thing." It's kind of a parental loophole. When we were little she also promised to give me 10 doll-hairs to do something or other for her. As you can see, she's obnoxious and clever.