It was Mother's Day weekend. The girls and I were lounging lazily in the living room when Adam called to them to clear their dinner plates. Hope sighed, slumping her shoulders and rolling her eyes.
It's hard to be a kid sometimes, isn't it? I asked her, surprising myself at the genuine sentiment.
(I have many times thought sarcastically, "Gee it's so hard to be a kid..." but this time I found myself actually believing the words. It would be hard having someone else constantly tell you what to do or not to do, what's okay and not okay, and what needs to be done first and then next, when all you really want to do is play.)
I wish I was a grownup! Paige piped up.
Yeah, it is hard. Hope nodded. And then she continued. But I think being a grownup would be harder.
The best Mother's Day present ever! It took all of my energy to keep my butt in my chair and not jump up and down shouting, Yes! Yes! Yes! It is hard being a grownup and Thank You my darling daughter for recognizing that.
As a million hard grownup-y things raced through my mind (money and bills, health and illness, cooking and cleaning, appointments, and life worries), I smiled at her and acknowledged, Yes, it can be hard being a grownup too. Why do you think it might be hard?
Well, you have to do other things you don't want to do instead of play.
I pulled Hope into my lap, thankful that she still lets me, and squeezed her tight. Oh, it is so hard to want to play and do fun things and have other non-fun things that have to be done instead.
It would have been very easy for me to fall into my Mom Guilt mode and bemoan how this must mean my daughter feels like I never play with her and I am ruining her childhood and all she'll remember about these days is how I have priorities other than playing. But I didn't. I brushed off my guilt and doubt because I know that I do spend time with my girls, and maybe it's not always sitting on the floor playing Barbies, but we have a lot of fun doing other things together, and I'm okay with them being able to play with each other or by themselves. And it's okay for them to see that I can't (and don't) spend all my time doing their will either.
(Besides, at least she understands that I would rather be playing but sometimes I have other responsibilities too. Non-fun ones.)
She surprises me, my six-year-old, with her deep and grownup thoughts and observations, even though I shouldn't be surprised at all. She sees so much more than I realize, or even that I see. And I love it when she opens up and invites me in to what she is processing and thinking about.
I am so glad I have these little people in my grownup life to point out new perspectives and remind me that they are their own people too. It was a very nice Mother's Day (especially considering I was not looking forward to it), and would have been even if Hope hadn't announced her recognition of grownups not always having it easy, but that was definitely a bonus.