“Mommy,Mommy! It’s my favorite show!” My 6 year old son exclaimed. I decided I should stop my laundry list of “to do’s” and give him some time.
I asked, “What’s your favorite show, sweetie?”
“Ru Paul’s Drag Race!,” he said with his face lit up like one of Ms. Ru’s sequined gowns or Yara Sofia’s electric blue contacts.
Oh, how night life has changed for me. Gone are the days of dancing till 4 or 5 in the morning, only to make a quick turn around and go to work at 7 am. Now, I sit on the couch after picking everyone up, cooking dinner and doing laundry, and I ponder whether my son’s love a show that teaches one how to hide their candy “means” something. Not that I care one way or the other. If my son grows up and becomes a Drag Queen, I just expect that he’s the best one around and lets me go shopping once and a while. As a mother of all boys, that may be my only chance to do girly things with my children.
Now in my thirties, my nights still have some similarities to those of my late teens and early twenties. I still stay up too late. I still wake up groggy and ragged. I still spend all of my energy making sure the men in my life are happy. The difference is the dependent men in my life are actually 2 and 6, rather than figuratively, and I have a legal and moral responsibility for their well being.
I never really was nocturnal, even in my wilder days of youth. Then, I hid the fact that I could have retired to my comfy bed promptly at 10pm and been perfectly happy. Now I stay up late out of pure necessity. The good nights involve just enough energy to sit down after the boys go to sleep and have a few peaceful moments with my husband watching all of the jewels we have recorded on the DVR. Funny enough, I am just as happy catching up on our favorite shows as I was bar hopping; sometimes, maybe more.
DVR, is a staple in any parents evening. I love TV. I love it so much, I will admit to drowning out conversations with my husband and my children to hear what the characters on TV are saying. I’m sure I am not alone. The ability to re-wind a great play in a big game because a tiny action hero has mysteriously ended up inside someone’s nose and you have to take care of it is a glorious thing. While parenting can be hilariously fun and cause your cup to run-eth over, many times the goal is simply to remain sane and not cause any permanent damage to the child or yourself. If we make it to the end of the evening without any trips to the ER and minimal scaring to the parents, we have won!!!
Right about now, if you have kids, you are nodding in agreement. If you don’t, you are horrified by my somewhat glib description of parenting. Why? Either you haven’t even begun to consider having kids as an option and therefore haven’t let your mind venture in to the “what ifs.” Or, having kids is a dream you plan on attaining in the future and you know it will be hard, but you have all of the right stuff to remain calm under pressure and be the fun parent. Hold on, the current parent’s uproarious laughter is breaking my concentration.
I joke, but I love my kids and the kind of nightlife having them has inspired. I make mistakes all the time and I feel like a jerk often. My patience is tested to the point of almost no return every day. Even as I write, I have had to pause at least a few times to get someone juice, quell a tantrum and put together a Punjabi Prison Match cage for the WWE superstar’s latest match. This is the payoff for it all. Along with how amazing it is to watch a little person becoming a better version of me, there is what happens at the end of each day. When I pick up my little guy after he has passed out watching colorful people dance around on whatever show he was watching, he nestles his head into my shoulder and says, “I love you, Mommy.” There it is. The reason for it all, summed up at just the right time to rejuvenate your trough of patience for the next day.