Monday, July 17, 2017

The Amazing, Disgusting Miracle of Children.

Let me tell you something about kids.

They are beautiful, smart, miraculous creatures. They're always learning and soaking up information. They give the best, albeit slightly sticky, hugs. Their humor consists mostly of nonsensical knock-knock jokes, but I guarantee you there is nothing funnier on the planet. Their bar for what constitutes as amazing is basement level low. You could put a bow on half an Oreo and they will freak the heck out. They are easy to please and fun to hang around. 

Kids are pretty cool. 

But let me tell you something else about kids. 

They are pretty gross. 

They will sneeze in your face. Like, directly into your face. And they'll probably be sick when they do it, and there's a ninety-seven percent chance you'll get Pinkeye from it. You know, Pinkeye, that cool viral eye infection that makes you look like you're auditioning for the next Terminator reboot. The one that makes other adults quickly look away in public because what the heck, isn't pink eye only for little kids who haven't learned the benefit of conventional hygiene? Yes, yes it is. Also apparently for parents of hygiene loosey-goosey kids who lovingly rub their snotty hands all over your face because you are a human Kleenex. Did you know that's what you signed up for when you decided to have kids? It's in the small print on their birth certificates. Parent/Human Kleenex. 

These adorable little monsters have zero sense of personal space. If anyone else stripped down, put their rain boots on, and climbed into the shower with you, you'd call the police. Your kids, though? Par for the course. Heck, you might even be thrilled. Sure, five minutes alone is akin to your weight in gold, but you saw that pile of dirt your kid rolled around in after the dog licked their head for ten minutes. Rain boots or not, a shower is a shower. 

You knew that when you became a parent the job came with deep sacrifice. You thought about all the ways you would use your body to care for these little marvels. Carrying them, comforting them, nourishing them. Noble, deep, soul stirring sacrifices. Cut to two years later, and while your body is still deep in the throes of caring for another human, it is also sitting on the couch while your kid shoves Play-Doh down the front of your shirt then tries to retrieve it. Not quite the hazy-light holy sacrifice you dreamed of. 

And still, after all of this--your body doubling as a throw pillow, the literal gallons of snot you accumulate on your person over the course of eighteen years, the Pinkeye that'll have your spouse lovingly calling you Sauron--still you'd walk through fire for these grungy and magnificent little beings. It makes no sense at all. It probably means that the eye infection has traveled to your brain, but oh well. That thing is pretty fried anyway. 

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