Hey, parents. Here's some unsolicited advice. (I know. Just what you wanted. But stick with me for a minute and I'll make it worth your while.)
Enjoy you kids. Love them like mad. Accept them completely. Laugh until you can hardly breathe and have pillow fights with them and bake cookies at bedtime together.
Do everything you can to connect with your kids right now.
Not when they're older or easier or when life is more fill-in-the-blank-here.
Do it today. Because today is all we've got.
No, life won't ever be perfect, but when your foundation is that of mutual respect and appreciation it's hard to veer too far off course.
I wrote this last night and seriously within an hour there was drama over here. And yet. AND YET. With this solid base of We Truly Like Each Other to stand upon, the smoke soon cleared and everyone felt heard, honored, and held.
No, liking your kids doesn't mean they won't drive you batty. They will. (And you - them.) But this baseline of respect and friendship helps you all come back to center in a hurry when things fall apart. Which they will. Often.
And never apologize for being friends with your kids or for enjoying their company, you guys. Because that's like apologizing for having a beautiful harvest of tomatoes from your garden! ("Look at these beautiful vegetables we grew! I'm sorry.")
Why waste time apologizing when you could be savoring that bounty?
Just love big, friends. That's all you need to do. Love. Big.
P.S. I'm pretty sure both sets of pictures above were taken approximately eight minutes apart. Seriously. It's like that.