Last night I was sitting with some girlfriends waiting to go rinse the hair dye out of my hair. My friend said that she'd read that when a mom hears her own baby cry, her blood pressure rises. But when she hears another baby cry, everything stays even-steven.
Man, isn't that true?!!
While I got my hair dyed, my friend's children sat in front of me, asking questions, and talking to me. My friend apologized. "Man, you got a break from your own children, but here mine are with a barrage of questions!"
"Oh, I don't mind!" I said, "It's totally different when it's not your own."
It really is.
Sometimes I'll be with my sister or a girlfriend and she'll be annoyed with her child--the noises he's making. The amount she's talking... But it doesn't phase me in the least. I'll even find it cute or funny.
And likewise, I'll be with my children. Coen will be talking and talking, showing his Pokemon cards or telling a long, involved story while I'm trying to tell a story of my own to a friend. Arrrrrgggghhhhh, I'll be thinking. STOP TALKING, child!!! But my friend? No problem. He's adorable! Or Lucy will be having one of her moments, throwing herself on the floor because the red Lego and the green Lego won't "connect togever!" "Oh my GOL!" I'll say, visibly frustrated. "What?" my sister will ask, "It's fine! Just ignore her!"
But alas. We cannot ignore our own children like we can everyone else's children. They seep into our consciousness, under our skin and behind our eyeballs. And that can feel like the worst kind of overtaking when you are irritated or frustrated with your children. You feel possessed with annoying rage that seems to have no real grounding... But because they do live there in the very core of your being...you are also able to love them with a power that could melt metal.
Because of that power, you can wipe snot, blood and vomit with your bare hands and not even flinch. You can hold them for 45 straight minutes, though your back may ache and you have to pee... because their warmth against yours feels like the only thing that matters. You can come home every day and make them dinner and tell them stories and wash their hair, looking at that face...the face that can contort in tantrummy anger, making you want to scream one minute and then softly look at you with big expectant eyes, making you want to cry with joy and love the next.
Yes, it is everyone else's children that keeps your blood pressure level and your ire nearly non-existent. But while your own can send you careening into a tantrum of your own, one you never expected to have in your adult life, they also fill you with elation and love...make you stronger than you've ever been.