|This was NOT Brian's cake.|
So I spent yesterday leafing through old photo albums and showing the little girls pictures of Brian as a baby - oh, and suppressing twinges of guilt as my youngest kept asking, "Where are the pictures of ME?" Nowhere, honey, because that's what happens when you are the caboose. You don't get scrapbooked.
I started this blog when Brian was only 6 or 7 -- that is, when I was still young and optimistic and thought that life after babies would be easy. I guess I wasn't paying attention to that teen thing or noting just how haggard the faces of older parents looked. Blissfully ignorant, that was me. And, boy, do I want that naive optimism back. As it is, every morning I wake up and feel a slight panicky feeling in my throat and chest. "What?" I think. "I have to do it again? Just like yesterday? And the day before that?"
I fight that feeling, of course. I get up, I shower and dress and do my hair, I wave my 2-lb handweights around in an attempt to tone my arms in 7 days (Day 4, so far - I'll keep you posted). But, deep down, I know I'm screwed. I've got 2 teens at home and 2 more on the way, and no amount of fitness or sheer perseverance changes the math: I'm losing ground, and they outnumber me.
I endured a screaming tantrum from Susie just this evening, because she wanted birthday cake but wouldn't eat her dinner. You know, the first 10 or 15 years I dealt with that sort of thing, it was tiring but worth it. Worth it, because I believed I had taught a valuable lesson to my child and that I had laid the groundwork for years of obedience and household peace. But now? I know it's all a crap shoot. I know my resoluteness and effort will not necessarily produce any long-lasting positive results, but I still can't give her the damn cake. How's THAT for dispiriting?
I guess that's why people love being grandparents - they never have to withhold the cake.