The “good stuff”

By Mir
May 25, 2005

Shiz is wondering why it is that parents tell the childless about how hard it is to have kids, and how potty training sucks and children like to put things up their noses and by the way let me tell you about the time my kid spiked a fever of 112 and we were at the Emergency Room for a week while they sliced the kid into 5,239 little pieces and cooled them in ice cube trays and then reassembled the cooled-down child using several gallons of Demabond but I’m afraid she’ll never play the violin again.

I’m not sure that I agree with her assessment, by the way. But certainly, yes, we parents do tend to tell the stories of the Time The Diaper Exploded or the What’s That Smell story or the perennial favorite, You Don’t Want To Have Kids Because That’s The End Of Life As You Know It, Honey story.

Or, if you’re me, there are a lot of The Time I Almost Strangled The Children But Didn’t Because I’m A Little Too Busy To Go To Jail Right Now stories.

Shiz wants more of the “good stuff.” And you know what? So do I. Right now, I think just about everyone could use a little more good stuff.

Please don protective gear. Heavy sap ahead!

I went through my picture files tonight, looking for some uber-cute shots of the kids. There were plenty, of course. My children happen to be achingly adorable (in my completely unbiased opinion). And I’ve had the fortune to catch them at some prize moments. My mind wandered, as I browsed, to the moments forever stamped on my brain without benefit of photographic evidence.

Plenty of those moments do NOT fall into the “good stuff” category.

As for the ones that do… there are snapshots and mini-movies in my mind that speak volumes about why I wouldn’t trade a moment.

Chickadee’s eyes trained on mine as she nursed. Her deep, old-soul eyes locking their gaze with an intensity I hadn’t known babies could have, until her lids drooped and she succumbed to sleep. More often than not, she still had a death grip on a fistful of my hair.

Monkey’s eyes trained on EVERYTHING, but especially his sister, as he bounced in a seat in the middle of the kitchen. I never understood what it meant that someone’s eyes could laugh, until I met my son. The only thing better than that look in his eyes is the sound of his laughter, which I’m certain originates somewhere in his toes before bubbling out of his mouth.

Late night bedtime snuggles with Chickadee. Early morning wake-up snuggles with Monkey. The smell of their heads. The way they can fold into my lap, effortlessly, no matter how startled I am at how much they’ve grown. Catching the two of them huddled together with a book or a toy, whispering and giggling.

Seeing them be intuitive, kind, brilliant, or just plain funny as hell. Knowing that I can’t take credit, but I have some (small) part in who they are growing up to be.

Monkey’s easy love, virtually overflowing from him. He still loves to hold my hand as we walk. He holds my face in his hands before attacking me with sloppy kisses.

Chickadee’s fiercely guarded affection. The way she holds out when she’s hurting, remaining stiff in my arms until the moment when she can’t, anymore, and she melts into me in spite of herself. She cannot make herself get on the bus without her hug and kiss, even when she’s furious with me.

If you’ve waded this far through the sap, I think you deserve a little something.

There’s that saying about how having a child is a decision to let your heart forever go walking around outside your body. I have of course been trying to figure out how to hedge my bets in this scenario.

My first attempt was a wild success for a little while.

Later, I decided that to be humane, I’d need something larger, but as you can see the results weren’t as favorable.

So, yeah. The bad stuff sucks, but the good stuff… well, it’s worth the price of admission. For sure.

Hope that helps, Shiz.


  1. Kira

    Oh, oh, oh, I love your sap.
    Beautifully put, dear.

  2. Jules

    Ohhhh I sooo remember those pictures…Very good stuff! :)

  3. ben


  4. Peek

    As only a Mommy can understand, you have to be there. Even though the good times are wonderful it just seems like there are so many more bad times. I guess that must be the reason why the good times are SOOOOO good. Thanks for sharing.

  5. dad

    The picture says it all and oh yeh, this post is truly beautiful.

    To not have the experiences that children bring to us is the real tragedy.

  6. bellabelly

    as a mother-to-be I really enjoyed this– not to say that I don’t THOROUGHLY enjoy the “not so good” stuff. I just love your blog in general.

  7. bob

    When my soon was in the hospital last year, we took turns spending the night with him. As I watched him sleep I found myself pulling out that mental photo album and seeing him as he grew up. It’s one of the most precious things I own.

  8. Shiz

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …

    Nice. Thanks.

  9. Indigo

    I couldn’t agree more… bring on the good stuff! I must admit, I do rant about Kid, but there are so many things about her that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

  10. MsSisyphus

    They are achingly adorable Mir. Thank you.

  11. Amy

    I look at those pictures and think of my own three miracles and suddenly…even the “what’s that smell?” story seems like the good stuff. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. chris

    oh yeah, the mind movies, they are some of the best! when i can’t sleep, i run those through my mental cinema and they never fail to comfort me and ease my soul. thanks for sharing some of the good stuff!

  13. Clarity

    Sniffle…..That almost makes me want to wake mine up and appologize for threatening to dismember their favorite stuffed animals if they didn’t Go To Flipping sleep…almost.

    Love the blog Mir, sometimes it helps to know I’m not the only one :)

  14. mc

    As someone who’s continually grappling w/ the “should I/shouldn’t I” re: kids, I found this post so amazingly well timed and helpful! The thing that always gets me about having kids is that all the negatives seem so tangible, but the positives are amorphous, emotional and almost always sappy-sounding. Yours are awesome – thanks.

  15. Jenny

    Hey! I thought I was the only parent who kept her kid in a dog crate ;) I think if we end up having any more kids, we’ll just buy a few more crates and stack’em.

    Beautful post.

    Jenny from Three Kid Circus, which I still don’t know why your comments hate.

  16. Mamacita

    How do you do it? How do you keep on putting into just the right words all these thoughts I think and can’t figure out how to say?

    I love your blog more every time I visit here. And you, too.

  17. Heather a.k.a.Naked Baby

    I only wish I had such cute, innocent baby pictures. My “most admired” baby pic involves me as a very tender four year old practically doing the splits trying to get into the bathtub…naked.

    The inevitable spagetti smeared face picture isn’t so bad,… I just wish naked baby pics didn’t exist.

    (Even more, I wish naked baby picks didn’t get shown to naked baby’s fiance!!!)

  18. Mike

    Don’t apologize for the sap, Mir. Bring it on. Wonderful post. MWAH to those gems of yours.

  19. vicki

    Lots of times it seems as though the world is divied up into women trying to get pregnant and women trying not to. This is a lovely post, child in pet carrier and all.
    Thanks for a great launch into the weekend.

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