This means that for the greater part of my time as a parent I have been parenting children at nearly every possible stage of development, emotionally, physically and mentally, all at once.
It means that tonight I argued with a child at bedtime about how many stories we would read and no she could not bring the dog to school tomorrow.
I assured another child that zombies are not real and then listened to a lengthy dissertation about how amazing it would be if we discovered dinosaurs on the moon. Now please in the name of all that’s holy, go to sleep.
Then I caught another child as they drove into the driveway to ask them how dinner was with their boyfriend. That’s right, drove and yes, boyfriend.
Then I spent a substantial amount of time with another child, comforting them about the trials of being a high school student when you aren’t an athlete, and trying to help them understand that this is not their entire life. It’s just four years. It feels like an eternity I realize, but I promise, it isn’t. And then we finished math and science homework.
Now it’s nearly 11pm and I have more to do and far more to think about. My heart is breaking for one teen, while I’m so excited and happy for the other. I worry about one of the little ones and their sudden fears and wonder if the other little one will ever get enough sleep.
It’s finally getting small children to sleep and then staying up late with big children who need to talk, or somehow forgot about an essay due the next day.
It’s buying super gentle soap and character band aids for boo boos while also buying the strongest deodorant and soap available on the market and acne creams.
It’s a messy painting from one child and a text message from another.
It’s confusing and gut wrenching and complicated and so difficult, while also being beautiful and heartwarming and often hilarious. All at once. All the time. Every day.
It’s knowing I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world, while also wondering if I’m getting any of it right.
So, if you are also humming a wiggles tune while checking out college campuses, I see you. I see you and you are not alone.
When you finally get someone potty trained while also signing the drivers education form for another, I’m marvelling and laughing at it all right along with you.
It’s a crazy ride. But if we stick together, we can all get off on the other side and hopefully find our sanity intact.