I recently emailed a friend of mine some very sappy advice about how to be a parent and a relatively sane woman at the same time. Although I went on (and on, and on) in the email, I came up with even more good stuff after I sent it. (my suspicions were correct; I am indeed brilliant.) In particular, I remembered my very favorite poem, one that Pres. Hinckley has quoted on several occasions:
You are the trip I did not take
You are the pearls I cannot buy
You are my blue italian lake
You are my piece of foreign sky.
I had this copied into my journal 3 days before Charlotte was born (Women's conference 2006) and after it, I wrote, "Jack or a trip to Europe? Charlotte or pearls? Come on." Seems like such an obvious and easy choice, doesn't it? More difficult are the more subtle ones I've had to make. Charlotte or a clean bathroom? Jack or a quiet trip to the grocery store? Charlotte or a few hundred bucks a month extra income? Matt helps me see that for all my complaints, I wouldn't give up my kids for the world, let alone a cleaner house or more time to hang out with friends. It just takes remembering that sometimes, I think. We truly have the sort of life that others are envious of; it's not the other way around.
My little pearls. However, it's hard to stay sentimental for long, because as I'm writing this, Jack has gotten himself stuck in Charlotte's walker. I'm torn between going and saving him (because he sounds somewhat frantic) and leaving him there for just a minute in the crazy (and unfounded) hope that he will actually learn not to do it again. While I was typing out my deliberations on the subject, however, he tipped it over himself and busied himself with his bubbles. Back into the trenches.