I recently overheard the boys discussing the best and worst things about what they imagine grown up life to be. Topping the list of not-so-great in their minds was "cleaning after someone throws up". Their idea of the best? Getting to pick the biggest ice cream cone size you want.
I've been thinking about that conversation ever since I heard it. And yes, yes...of course there are grand and global answers to their question - the joy of mothering them topping the list of the best and of course there's plenty of real world, big-picture heartbreak and pain on the other side. But I keep getting caught up in the everyday mudane of their question. Because yes, cleaning up after someone throws up isn't all that great, but cleaning up after a fox has visited the broiler chicken pen and wreaked havoc? Even less fun. Paying the bills after the unexpected collapse of a large appliance and a vehicle in one week? Decidely not my favorite parts of being a grown up.
But they really aren't all that far off in their estimation. Because on the flip side, it still - after twelve years as The Mama - gives me great thrill to realize that I'm the one (of two, of course) who gets to say on a hot summer afternoon (upon realizing that I have no dinner plan), "Grab your suits and get in the car! We're going to the lake and having ice cream for dinner!"
I do so love being the grownup.