First it was, “I can't wait until they are out of diapers, then I will not have to change poopy butts.”
Then it was, “I can't wait until they can walk. It will be a lot easier to take them somewhere because we won't have to carry them all the time.”
"I can't wait until they are in school because then they will be away for a few hours a day to get some stuff done around here.”
"I can't wait until they are more independent.”
Looking back at the never-ending list of “I can't wait” moments, I see how futile it all was.
I can remember thinking when they reach the next milestone, raising kids would be so much easier.
What I didn't realize at the time was raising a family is cycle of challenge, victory, challenge, victory etc.
When they started walking I did not have to carry them everywhere - I had to chase them everywhere as they were always on the move, something always distracted them and something always took them down a path away from our intended destination.
Then I kind of missed them not being able to walk. At least they would stay where you put them and you always knew exactly where they were.
Getting out of diapers was a good thing, but for the first little while accidents did happen (with the kids, not me) and instead of packing diapers, we were always hauling around extra clothing, so it was a quasi-victory at best.
Heading off to school did provide some much-needed and much-appreciated free time, but it also brought with it the challenges of homework, parent advisory council meetings and, of course, drama.
Oh my, the drama was rather unexpected. As girls hit the teen years, their mind is assaulted by a typhoon of raging hormones and they go from happy to angry to sad to furious to happy in less time than it took you to read this line.
Instead of drama, I remember my boys being angry for about two years. They did not really need a reason to be angry, other than they were in their early teens and that just seemed to be what boys their age did.
They are older now and pretty much back to normal, so I am hoping (and praying daily) my daughter will grow out of her hormonal hurricane.
When she is older things will be better – wait a minute, I have been saying that for years.
I realized as kids age they do outgrow certain problems and difficulties, but they are replaced by other ones.
Then those are replaced by others and so on until I am curled up in a ball in the closet hoping no one finds my hiding spot.
As teens they are a lot more independent, which I quickly learned was good and bad. They can better take care of themselves, but they are a little too wise in their own eyes and sometimes that is not a good thing.
Also with the teen years comes those hormonal changes I was mentioning.
But looking back, I see how the rewards of raising children far outweigh the challenges. Life will always bring difficulties to your front door, but the key is it look through the hard times and embrace the victories, no matter how small they may seem.
Over time, the difficult days are lost in memory and only the victories are worthy of recalling.
My children are now all entering another phase of life, whether it be going to university or striking out on their own, so I am prepared for not only a few more challenges, but some more victories as well.
I guess I will have to just sit back and see what happens. Of course, I will keep the hiding spot in the closet at the ready.
Copyright 2014 Darren Handschuh