You’ve always heard that kids keep you young. I want proof. Are there actual studies on this? I think not. I know that I’ve conducted my own studies and am here to report to you that it’s all a big myth. I admit, the core group I’ve focused on has consisted of a small informal gathering of neurotic people.
Case Study #1: My father-in-law. He has had neck and back issues for most of his adult life. To what does he attribute his cervical demise? One might guess a massive car accident that he had years ago that kept him in the hospital for months. According to him, that doesn’t even compare to teaching his children how to ride a bike. Apparently, 40+ years ago, he ran through a park a couple of times, hunched over, one hand latched under the bottom of the seat, trying to keep up with three toddlers peddling feverishly on Schwinns and, as a reward for being a loving parent, he’s now almost a complete cripple. Every time we gather to visit him in Florida, my husband or sisters-in-law can rarely walk past him in a hallway or on their way into the pool without him yelling his mantra: “You ruined me! You ruined me!”
Case study #2 is a couple: Namely my husband and me. A few months before we got married, we squeezed into one of those little photo booths at the mall and took a picture of the beaming couple. Post-children, we thought it would be fun to do the same thing. What an error. We went from looking care-free and bouncy to war-torn. We looked like our own grandparents except I never remember my grandparents, although they lived through both world wars, ever looking that bad. Needless to say, the latter photo never made it to refrigerator magnet status. I didn’t throw it away though. I’m thinking ten years down the road, we’ll be dumb enough to have the same “bright idea” again (if we can still squeeze into a photo booth… and malls still exist) and we’ll end up comparing what will undoubtedly be a photo of two shrunken apple heads with the previous photo and realizing that that one wasn’t actually as bad as we’d thought.
You may notice that when I did my in depth case study, I counted my husband and me as one. Don’t be misled: This united front is not something we planned- You know, coming together as a couple so that the children don’t get mixed parenting messages or anything as absurdly organized as that. No…It’s survival of the tallest. It’s simple math. There are three of them and two of us. If we didn’t pool every ounce of strength we could muster, he and I wouldn’t have a chance. They would have buried us long ago. And they’re multiples…Triplets. So they’ve always out-numbered us.
At 8:50 that fateful July morning as they wheeled me into the operating room for my scheduled C-section, we had no children. At 8:51 there were more of us than them. At 8:52 all was even. By 8:54, we were out-numbered. Now there are three about-to-turn ten year olds and two old beaten down geezers. Our chances don’t even look good on paper. If only they weren’t all so damn cute.
(If you’d like to laugh more at your kids’ expense, please check out my latest little eBook by clicking on the book cover above or using the link below to return to the Home Page: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. It’s specifically for parents & teachers at this time of year. http://laughingisconceivable.com)