Like when I say “Ouch” when I drop something…even though it didn’t fall on me. “You know, mom, I don’t think the broom felt that. But are you okay?”
Or, when I talk to our food. “Oh, who’s a pretty pumpkin pie? That’s right – you are! What a perfect baby you are. Five more minutes and Momma will take you out of the oven.” “Mom, why are you talking to the pie? Is that what people mean when they say they put love in their food?”
Or when I put things in the closet that belong in the refrigerator. “Um, mom, I think the bologna belongs in the frig. Not with the plates.”
They don’t ever say to my face that they think I’m crazy, but I hear them talking.
“Mom is so weird,” Nic will whisper to Aaron.
“Yeah,” replies Aaron as he turns his finger in a circle next to his ear. “She can be a little, you know, cuckoo.”
I think they might be right. After all, besides being a little crazy what other explanation could there be for having kids?
Of all the people I know, only the ones who don’t have children seem to be sane. They keep their own schedules. They sleep through the night. The only person who ever criticizes them is their significant other. My childless friends and family seem to be more relaxed, enjoying life, more organized (or at least don’t fret about it if they are not).
Contrast that to the parents I know. You can usually spot them right away. Unless they are lucky enough to have a nanny or some other regular help, they look a little haggard, and they always look tired. When you ask them how they have been, the answer is the same, “Oh, it’s been crazy!”
Of course, it’s been crazy! You are a parent. That is the first sign of mental instability. Who but a crazy person would invite someone into their life to create havoc, interrupt their sleep, and immerse them in a state of constant noise and movement? Worse, yet, the insanity is so deep that parents often invite more than one child into their lives…even when they have already seen what one child does to it.
It is said that the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I am yet to meet a parent who does not embody this statement. Think about. How many times have you said to some one, “It’s driving me nuts. Every day, I ask him/her to put his/her clothes in the hamper and every day the clothes are right there on the floor.” or “I have told him a million times to get off that computer and all he ever says is “in a minute”. It doesn’t matter what I do. I have even taken the computer away.” Crazy, right?
Probably, the most significant sign that I am crazy is that self-preservation is no longer a consideration. Even on the days that I wish the continent would divide with me on one land mass and my kids drifting away on another, I know I would put all self-interest aside to protect. To make sure that they are okay, that they are thriving, that they have every shot at living a good life…I would give up anything.
Perhaps that is the craziest part of it all. No matter how much your kids may make you insane. No matter how much you may wish for a day away from them. No matter how much you hope that someday they will have kids just like themselves. You love them like crazy.
So, if my kids think I’m crazy…I think they’re right.