There are just some things only parents understand in life.
And often through a nod of silent understanding you realize that other parents truly know how you are feeling in those unpredictable situations.
Just recently, I was standing outside my car with an umbrella in the pouring rain to help our youngest son Jase, who somehow managed to lock the seat belt around his tiny body.
As the pouring rain pounded against the roof of my car, the sound was drowned out by the cries of anguish coming from inside the truck.
Moments earlier, my daughter Elsie had slammed her finger in the truck door. Convinced it was broken, and that the only person who could cure it was Daddy, she bellowed like a banshee into the morning air.
And as drivers passed us that morning, a few gave me a look of sympathy from inside their warm, dry vehicles.
It happens everywhere I go. Parents give you that “I understand” look as you continue to push through your day.
At restaurants, my children have more food on their faces than in their mouths. The floor surrounding our table looks like Hansel and Gretel came through, leaving crumbs to find their way home. Drinks are spilled. Food is thrown. And everyone plays musical chairs.
But that sympathetic grin from a stranger passing by tells me, “this too shall pass.”
I have people beside me at red lights who completely understand why I am blaring Disney songs from my radio. They don’t even flinch when they see a cup full of neon Kool Aid slam against the window. And no judgement is passed when they see a “switch” being produced on the side of the road.
And absolutely no parents ever stopped to check on me when I swerved over on the side of the road to diffuse a situation going down in the back seat.
Parents don’t ask why there is a Piscasso-like rendering on your hallway wall. They don’t question hairstyles when half the hair on your kid’s hair is stuck together with some sort of slime substance. They don’t judge when a quick trip to the bathroom during church is returned with a red-faced, sniffling kid.
They never question why a half-naked Barbie with dyed hair is sitting right in the middle of your living room. They could care less if there is an empty jar of peanut butter on the floor and a kid running around with what looks like pomade in his hair.
They can still look you in the eye as you walk around the supermarket with a kid who has a permanent marker over his entire body.Parents have a connection, a bond unlike any other. We’ve all been there, and we are all managing to survive...sort of.
I take comfort when older ladies who are so full of wisdom stop me in the store as I rip open a bag of Goldfish crackers and hand them over my buggy of little birds, eager to eat.
“Don’t worry,” they say. “It gets easier.”
I’m not sure if it gets easier or if young parents just learn to roll with the punches better.
Those crayon marks on the wall tend to grow on you after a while. Spaghetti does taste better hanging from your forehead.
And those slime hairstyles are coming back in style anyway.