To My Child: Someday You Will Understand – Scary Mommy

To My Child: Someday You Will Understand

Someday You Will Understand

Shutter stock

From the time you were 3, the questions of “Why?” and “How?” have permeated the vast majority of our days. Even when you don’t ask, I know that those questions are there, hovering over us as you strive to figure out how this world works. When you see anything but a smile on my face, when I tell you mommy just needs quiet for a while, when I tell you to do something or not do something for the hundredth time, I know you want to understand the reason.

But the truth is there are some things you just won’t understand until you become a parent. I can explain certain things simply, but not fully. Until you get here, you can’t understand what things look like from this side of the fence. Someday, when you have your own kids, you will.

Someday you will understand why I say that the day you were born was the best day of my life.

Someday you will understand how sleep deprivation can make you feel like you’re literally losing your sanity.

Someday you will understand why I cried the day you started walking.

Someday you will understand why I hugged you tight, then yelled at you, then hugged you tight again when you wandered away at the zoo.

Someday you will understand why I look over your shoulder so often when you’re on electronics, and why I insist that you ask me before looking something up on YouTube.

Someday you will understand why I don’t watch the news.

Someday you will understand why I firmly remind you to stop when someone asks you to stop, even if they’re laughing when they say the word.

Someday you will understand why I cannot play one more game of Candy Land. Seriously. Cannot.

Someday you will understand why I need to go to Target alone.

Someday you will understand why I’m not my normal loving self when you wake me up in the middle of the night, and why I fall asleep in the middle of every kid movie.

Someday you will understand why I get snippy when you won’t stop making random noises in the car.

Someday you will understand how much you and your siblings’ bickering hurts my heart and rides my nerves.

Someday you will understand why I make you do chores.

Someday you will understand why I stopped cooking.

Someday you will understand why your father and I agonized over whether to let you quit music lessons, why we weren’t sure if we’d made the right choice when we let you quit, and why we were so happy when you decided on your own to start up again.

Someday you will understand why your father and I lock our bedroom door sometimes and take a while to answer when you knock.

Someday you will understand why we said “no” to that super short skirt.

Someday you will understand how it feels to be responsible for another human being and to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Someday you will understand how it feels to be so in madly in love that it terrifies you.

Someday you will understand the constant exhausting tension between holding on and letting go.

Someday you will understand how a heart can be so full that you swear it’s breaking in two.

Someday you will understand how you can go from wishing time would go faster to begging it to slow down, all within the same hour.

Someday you will understand the strange emotional chaos of trying to be a whole human being while trying to raise other whole human beings.

Someday you will understand the love, worry, frustration, pride, bewilderment, awe, and wonder that go along with having children.

Someday you will understand it all. But not today.

So keep asking your questions, and I’ll do my best to provide answers. But trust me when I tell you that you won’t be able to understand most of them — not until you’ve walked a mile or two in the battered but beloved shoes of parenthood.