It's 7:10 a.m., and I'm standing outside the toddler's door while she wails inside her bedroom. She is mad (I think) because I tried to make her put on pants? Or maybe because it's Blue Day at daycare, and she wanted to wear blue, but she pulled out a pair of black pants instead and I told her they weren't, in fact, blue?
I'm not 100% sure, but she's definitely mad about something. And now it's 7:15 a.m., and we're behind schedule, and all I want most deeply and fervently is for her to PUT ON HER FRIGGIN' PANTS so I can get in my car and drive to the GO station and get a coffee and sit in peace on the train for half an hour.
Weekday mornings with kids are the worst. You're rushed and you don't understand why they can't just listen for once, do what you want for once, so you can get to work on time to deal with the rest of the crap you have to deal with that day.
And evenings aren't much better. Often, the kids are tired and hungry, you're tired and cranky, and—let's face it—you're counting down the minutes until you can put them to bed and have a glass of wine and think about something other than who stole whose ball or whose turn it is to ride the scooter.
When you have small children, there are days that feel like a marathon. You're running and running, but it doesn't seem like you're getting anywhere. And you'll feel guilty for thinking this way, but you might even wonder why you're doing it, if it's worth it.
But then, there it is: that moment.
When it's dark and cold, and you snuggle up next to your daughter's warm body and bury your face in her hair, inhaling its clean, fresh scent. And your arm's around her, and her little hand is resting on your arm, gently, not wanting to let go of you even as she sinks into sleep. And you listen to her breathing get deeper and deeper, and your heartbeat slows, too.
For once, your mind is quiet. The world stills. And, just for a moment, that's all that matters.
And that's why you do it.
And it's enough to make you get up and run the gauntlet again tomorrow.