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The Problems and Privileges of Being a Mom

I don't want to share the series of bad parenting moments I experienced this weekend. The times I cursed my children under my breath, the times I yelled, the times my whole body felt fraught with tension and anger and exhaustion. I don't want to share the story of feeling discouraged by Penny's horrible behavior in school last week. I certainly don't want to share the moment when Peter and I discovered, at the end of the week, that she can't hear us, which probably accounts for much of the behavior at school and at home. We have an ENT appointment tomorrow. (Did I mention my text to Peter last week: "There are times when I suck as a parent. Right now happens to be one of those.")

I do want to share the moments of joy. When Marilee ate her first strawberry. When William started using the expression "later ago" to mean earlier. When Penny's whole face lit up as I told her she had been invited to go to Kidstowne with a friend from school.

The note Penny wrote to her teacher this morning: "Mrs. R., I can't hear. Penny"

The note Penny wrote to her teacher this morning: "Mrs. R., I can't hear. Penny"

I want to share the laughter. The giggles Penny and William evoke when they climb into Marilee's crib in the morning to say hello to her. The look Peter and I share when William, fresh in from a walk in the snow with his dad, says, "Dad, could you draw me a toucan? And an ostrich? And a goose?" The smile I need to hide when Penny says, "Yeah, I get that, Mom. Don't worry. I get that."

And I want to share the pride I felt as I watched Penny keep up with the other girls–taller, older, more experienced–in her ballet class last week. The excitement I feel when I read about two women with Down syndrome running a half marathon (not that I will EVER run a half marathon, but maybe Penny would like to do that with her dad someday). The wonder of praying with Penny and William before bedtime.

So there it is. A very human–which is to say, limited, fallible, tired, and often selfish–mother with very human children. Highs and lows. The need for grace, and many reasons to be grateful.

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