After you've been parenting for a while, let's say, like, 4 hours or so, you realize you're exhausted. And then 4 hours after that you start to wonder when you'll ever be un-exhausted again. 4 days after that, you come to the conclusion that you need to settle down deep into the tiredness and just try to hold on for the long haul.
And maybe, 10 or 14 or 17 years later, it's late at night and you sit with a child who is struggling in school, who can't find missing homework and another child has strep throat and wont. stop. talking. All while the final child is baking her 2nd cake from scratch because the 1st one fell apart and she has to leave in 90 minutes for a friends party.
It's at that moment, at 7:42 pm, that the exhaustion will just never end. And you can't decide which part is harder...the mental or the physical. Or maybe they're both equal means to the end. Do you hear what I'm saying? Yes. Yes, I know you do.
And so, I'm reminded of something I read recently:
We are the trainers. The ones to guide them to sharp eyes. To teach them to stand and stand tall. To overcome and face all that exists outside these walls. And in all the ways that matter, we are their defenders. Their cheerleaders. Their protectors. Every day. In every way. Through the laughter and even through the exhaustion. We continue.
Not because we have to.
Because this kind of love is fierce. Solid and bone deep.
And it gives us the will to parent on. Through every exhausted 7:42 pm.
May we be reminded of why we do what we do.
And the futures that we hold.