-Ralph Waldo Emerson
What a lovely sentiment. We waste so much valuable time focusing on achievements and end points, while what we should be doing is savoring the countless precious moments that transpire before we even reach our destinations.
A lovely sentiment, indeed. Except to anyone with a toddler. To all of us worn-out and weary parents, I say it’s okay to just want to get to our destinations already.
At our house, we start off our journey each morning with pretty much the same routine. Grievances expressed regarding cereal choices. Squabbles over how many toys are allowed to be dragged into the car. (Am I a bad mother for limiting the count to seven?) Desperate pleas from my two-year-old who wants to strap himself into his own car seat. Sure, why not? It only takes you 29 minutes and all we have to do is get your older brother to school in under four minutes. And we only wasted seven minutes just now trying to explain why you and your five-year-old brother cannot switch car seats.
These daily morning battles can wear us down, but since this ain’t my first time at the rodeo, I know that this too shall pass. Somehow, these mind numbing and endless struggles we endure from toddlers to simply get from Point A to Point B are more or less forgotten over time, and we are just left with the memories from when we got to where we wanted to go.
When Big Bro was a mere 15-months-old my husband and I decided to take him with us to Ireland for our friends’ wedding. And then we bravely decided that since neither of us had been to London, we would stop there for a few days first. Here’s the thing: I know that there were plenty of very tough travel moments. Like when we realized that the car seat we were lugging around with us didn’t fit in the seats on the international flight. Or when our little guy just didn’t seem to get the hint about what you were supposed to be doing on a red-eye flight. Or when the mother sitting in the row behind me decided she would allow her three little kids to sleep under my seat. (Thankfully, the flight attendant put an end to that brilliant plan pretty quickly.)
And yet somehow when I think back on that trip, these little aggravations aren't the first things that pop into my head. All I remember are fun times on the London Eye, good food, great friends and a few pints of Guinness.
So to all those parents who are just trying to make it through the day, or through the next hour, or simply trying to make it to their cars in the morning without having nervous breakdowns, just keep in mind that while the journey of parenthood can be tough at times, the destination is almost always worth it.