Saturday, December 24, 2016

It'll be Okay, Mama

When the kids were little, people thought my husband and I were crazy. Why would we want to have so many kids? Some days I thought they were right. Some days I thought I was crazy. Then when all my friends were stopping at two and moving on to the next stage of their lives, I stayed in the baby stage many more years. Many more. I went to kindergarten orientation and high school orientation on the same night. It was wild at the Ortlieb house as they grew. There were always friends at the house. A lot of friends. All the time. I dealt with crazy shit like naked booty five-year-olds dancing on the basement jukebox as the boys all cheered her on,
a moment where I walked out the front door to find every baseball glove in the neighborhood on my roof, high schoolers who thought it would be a good idea to wheel a giant broken metal step ladder from the mall all the way to my house to use for climbing onto rooftops, boys throwing tomatoes at cars, Works bombs, a summer of teenage dumpster diving behind Krispy Kreme and the consequent kitchen counters packed with boxes and boxes of crullers, donut holes, and original glazed. There was fun stuff like marshmallow gun fights, dancing on the furniture, and winter picnics on the living room floor. It was crazy. When I look back I sometimes wonder how I did it. But after a night like tonight, a night of board games and laughing and dinner out, a night where all four of my children are in one place at the same time, a night where I look over and see the products of all those years, my heart fills so full it seems it might explode.

To all you young mothers out there..It's work. It's so goddamned much work. But it is worth every trip to the doctor to remove the rock from the nose, every maxi pad stuck to the bathroom wall, every giant fart in the middle of the cereal aisle, every minute of panic because you can't get the sliding cabinet door open in which your daughter is stuck behind the wastebasket, every night spent smelling your son's back to see if it smells like soap and telling him to get back in there and really take a bath, every time you find yourself asking what is that and where did you get it. It is worth every bedtime story, every sticky hug. It is so worth it. So, so worth it.

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