Today is one of the most specials day of the year in our house. It's "Family Day." Family Day is what we call the day our adoption papers were finalized in the Russian court, and we became parents to Son1 and Son2. For the rest of my days, my name would be changed to Mom. In honor of the day upon which my descent into madness kicked off, I've been reflecting upon the things I wish I knew then. For all the Home Studies and parenting classes, there's a lot that falls through the cracks.
I don't think many of these are exclusive to adoption, really. Deep down, I think we all could have used some practical guidance on the following:
Parenting ages you at a rate once reserved for US Presidents.
Did you every notice how fast the President ages over a four year term? Did you ever stop and look at your old DMV photo when the license expires and the new one is taken? Eight years ago I looked like Janet Leigh, now, Mrs. Bates. Knowing this in advance would have enabled me to stockpile face creams, massages... maybe a vial or ten of botox.
Washable red markers are, alas, not fully washable.
Just as new red tshirts wreak laundry havoc and Hawaiian Punch will ruin any garment, the red markers will stay with you.My advice- remove them at once from all Crayola boxes. Lose them, toss them, crush them, shred them... whatever it takes.
Your parents really did live to embarass you.
How do I know? Because I DO live some days to make Son1 squirm into a near-teen sweat. Treat me like a jerk in front of your friends just because you think it's more cool, and I assure you, every girl you date will learn I call you Cocoa Bear, be tipped off you will be 30 and still playing video games with a Dath Vader helmet on, and hear about your incessant need to run around naked as a jaybird still. So don't push me, Cocoa Bear. ; )
Really, they do. They start out with that powdery baby smell and any stray odors are blamed on the diapers. This is only so you can bond with them. And then when they realize they smell, the overcompensate with toxic fumes like Axe. Had they smelled at 2 and 4 the way my laundry does now, I would have gagged and done a rethink.
And lastly... You will suck as a mom, and that's ok.
Whenever I come clean on some massive parenting fail point, I'm always amazed at the kind responses. I'm assured (ok, sometimes astounded) by the volume of equally bad flashes of judgment confessed by you all. It does my heart good to know we all suck at this at times, and that life goes on.
Boys, we love you and adore you more than you could ever know. You make my heart soar. My blood pressure could use a break. But even with all the madness, noise and mayhem, I am so thankful to God for each day you're in my life, for each day I am blessed to call you "sons."