Someone once said “parenting is only hard if you care.” I must have cared too much. If my angst wasn’t obvious on the outside, it was FULL THROTTLE on the inside. I fretted over every. single. detail. Circumstancially, we had four children under the age of two. Four were in diapers at ONE TIME. Sometimes things were insane (more like frequently to be completely honest). Ofcourse I got some help (with child care and the counseling sort). But despite the “circus of life” our family has lived, I am finally seeing a positive outcome- the fruits of our labor are sprouting!
We are still actively parenting, don’t be fooled I think our job is complete. But a recent family gathering shed light on how far we have come. Mind you, structured chaos was where we started but fine young men and a young lady were what I saw this weekend. Our daughter brought home her first “suitor” (male friend with serious potential) and the entire family was present. She actually WANTED us all there to meet this person. I was so shocked that I even questioned her decision. I was a little afraid we would embarass her with our Type A, boisterous behavior. Worse, I feared her father’s inquisition of this criminal, I mean boyfriend.
Turns out, by the time he left, I had the epiphany that all went pretty well overall and that if he got scared off, it wasn’t because we weren’t kind, open and accepting. Our family is super loud (check). Our family is upfront and open (what you see is what you get). Our family is accepting and warm (we don’t care your race or religion- in fact, the more different, the more interesting). Our family is there for each other (we might rip each other to shreds occasionally but we show up for one another). There are no secrets (no skeletons in our closets, we parade them).
At first I chided my husband to watch his mouth, excessive questioning, and tendency to put a plate on the ground for the dog to lick. I just knew that would send this guy packing. I couldn’t get rid of the 5 rescue animals either so just went with all of it. The first night was rough and my husband accused me of trying to create a diamond out of coal in my backside. (Go ahead and laugh, it’s probably partly true.) However, tensions and pretensions eased throughout the weekend and finally her friend was able to joke he was moving his flight up. I knew things were cool then.
Our three sons were amazing. One even spoke so highly of his sister that I teared up. They all attended everything we wanted (doesn’t happen enough) and behaved very well. They were actually being respectful of their sister. None did what they joked about prior like wrestling him (they are triplet males, wrestling is their love language) or challenging him in weight lifting. Talking about making a mama proud!
My sister said we need to be on a reality show. I find our unscripted reality frequently hilarious. As someone once said, “You can’t make this stuff up.” But we have stayed together and we love each other, even when it has not been easy to do. The “Circus of Life” the Turners lived, live and will live is worth the ticket price. I’m in.