(R.I.P. She was such a good girl when she was alive.)
I can't get over how my kids keep life so real. I think God knew--and laughed at the thought--that I needed kids because if I didn't, I'd be an anal, selfish, snooty girl, who thought she was pretty cool. Isn't that awful to say about yourself? The truth hurts sometimes. Where now, those inclinations have been metaphorically flushed down the toilet! Which is a good thing. It's created space for better things. Important things like love, humor, silliness, selflessness, peace, empathy, compassion. Some people get there on their own. Not me. I needed four little ones to keep the world from revolving around me.
I think it's the unabashed honesty of kids that does it. They say and do things that I only imagine, and sometimes things I can't even imagine. Things I wonder about but would never act upon. That's what I love. Like playing dead. Have you played dead lately? Try it. I promise you'll smile. They make me kiss body parts that are otherwise, um, unsanitary. Toes, bottoms of feet, bloody knees, and yes, even a bum or two. They make me jump on the trampoline when I'm not in the mood to wet my pants. But I do it. Because I love 'em. Because making them happy means more to me than being able to wear white shirts as often as I'd like. Or getting the GMC Acadia I've dreamed about, but can't accomadate a family of six. Or spending my mornings in book-books rather than Strawberry Shortcake coloring books.
(The gloves are my favorite.... My little lunch lady-man. Where's the hairnet?)
I guess kids help us remember that we're really not as important as we think we are. That people, especially little people, are always more important than Things. That life works out when we put others' needs first (assuming that we're in a healthy place ourselves). Jesus really hit it on the head when he taught us to become like a little child.