In Chinese philosophy, yin yang describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary. Can this explain how things can be both wonderful and frustrating at the same time? It’s like having an absolutely adorable puppy that just won’t stop pooping inside the house. It’s also like atomic fireball candy- it burns your mouth but you can’t stop eating it. I often find relationships to be like these, so wonderful I won’t leave them but so challenging sometimes I wish I could. Parenting is the epitome of yin yang to me.
As much as I love, appreciate and want to be a good mother to my brood, I find it to be the most aggravating assignment in the world. When I look at Facebook and see all the perfectly posed back to school photos, I chuckle to myself wondering what some of the REAL scenarios were like. I have to guess some moms are behind the camera threatening for all kinds of momentary misdemeanors. I will never forget a family photo shoot we had. I decided to dress everyone alike and take photos at the waterfront. (By the way, I regret every day that we wore denim overalls but, it WAS the nineties.) One son was having NONE of it and was not cooperating. He just got up, turned around, and posed in the opposite direction. The hippie photographer found his behavior hilarious and snapped a shot. I treasure that momentary annoyance.
Christmas is full of yin-yang moments. When we had four toddlers, I put a baby gate around our Christmas tree- the ugly, plastic, white folded kind. This hideous necessity was due to several pulled over, decorated trees. Thinking I had finally subdued their grabby little hands, I walked in to find my children INSIDE the gate WITH the Christmas tree. (So much for offense.) Another gross, yet hilarious moment is the year my husband’s stocking was empty (my bad) and the children wanted to know, “WHY!?” To satisfy their curiosity, he disappeared for a moment and reappeared with something he said he found in his stocking….it was a pair of boxers with brown magic marker drawn “stains.” He smiled and said, “Santa only left me skid mark underwear!” The children howled. I admit I did too.
Frustration is a guaranteed part of life. Wonderful moments aren’t guaranteed but sure are nice when they occur. I’m still working on trying to focus on the latter. Yin wouldn’t be the same without some yang.