Recent conversations, FB status updates and varying degrees of parent status of fellow parent friends have me wondering about the great myth of “the light at the end of the tunnel.”
I don’t know what’s in the water, but I have what seems to be a lot girlfriends who are expecting in the upcoming months. All of them are looking for the light at the end of [their] tunnel. (*I apologize for the crude joke . . .) Some have spent a blissful 6, 7, 8, or 9 months of pregnancy; others have suffered swelling, nausea, and “tummy issues” for 4, 5, or 6 months; while others have had a combination of both the sweet and the sour.
Then there are my mother-in-arms who have infants and toddlers. The tantrums, sleepless nights, crying, screaming and disciplining. And those are just the parents… Their light at the end of the tunnel comes down to wanting a semi-regular schedule, a little person they can reason with without the tears (mom's or child's) and maybe getting into the shower before 2:30 in the afternoon or eating a hot meal that does not include partially chewed-on rice and ghim rolls.
There are my parent pals who have school-aged children. The light at the end of their tunnel is blocked by soccer/basketball/t-ball/baseball practice schedules, music lessons, language school, Sunday school/CCD, gymnastics, endless birthday parties/slumber parties and ensuring their well-roundedness as responsible, compassionate members of a global community on top of burgeoning school assignments and other academic pressures.
And of course there are the tween/teens. Changing bodies, changing voices . . . changing smells(?!). Hormones, tantrums, sleepless nights, crying, screaming and disciplining (it’s infants and toddlers re-do but super-sized!). New fears about sex[ting], drugs and rock and roll in the car while driving… Where has the child who used to fit in your lap gone? And who replaced him/her with this giant, taller-than-mom, locust eating his/her way through this week’s groceries in 3 day’s time? The light at the end of the tunnel is a well-rounded child who will take their place in our world and a fridge that’s no longer raided by marauding teenage school-band gangs . . .
But alas, then it’s onto young adulthood. You’d think watching your son/daughter get through college, medical an/or law school (Tiger Mom moment) and develop their place in our world would be the light at the end of the tunnel . . . Instead, it’s the time to see your offspring become the adult you always knew was in there, meet and fall in love with someone who makes them happy . . . and then observe as you watch them journey through their search for the light at the end of their tunnels.
--Angie in Texas knows not all tunnels are dark . . .