I make it a point to gush about my kids. To everyone.
It's not hard to gush about my kids. It just...comes out of me. They're delightful children. So cute. They're gorgeous actually. And they have sweet smiles and good hearts and kind eyes. And some seriously cute feet. I'm absolutely in love with them.
They can both scream like banshees when they're mad though. Faith sounds more like a hoarse baby dinosaur, actually.
And they are messy beyond humor or description sometimes. And mind-numbingly irrational and persistent. And when they eat beans, their diapers smell worse than a sewer.
But everyone knows that. Everyone knows that it can be hard, unglamorous, and draining to be a parent. We need to talk about that part of parenting sometimes. To compare notes and make sure our kids are probably normal. To make sure that we are normal.
What I think we parents need even more, though, is to lift one another up to be able to delight in our children more often. I think we do this by hugging and kissing on our children in public. By praising them, playing hide and seek with them at the park, or letting them show us a caterpillar they found on a tree trunk.
We don't have to be fake or brag. Some days, we may not be able to muster up the energy to gush about our kids. Or shower for that matter. That's normal. At least it is for me. Some days, I am so incredibly grateful to have people in my life I can talk to about the tougher parts of parenthood.
Last year, Michael and I had four different members of our family and friends live with us for several weeks or months each. I remember thinking and praying that, after living with us, they would all still have a positive view of marriage and having children! I think that at least none of them were turned off to parenthood by living with us. Or so they say. :)
Families are such a witness. Pope John Paul II, in his great apostolic exhortation, Familiarus consortio, said that, "As the family goes, so goes the world."
I think we are all called to make sure we give witness to the joys of parenthood. Our society needs that desperately these days for so many reasons!