There's an article that's been circulating, called "Don't Carpe Diem". It's written by a mom who is concerned that parents put too much pressure on themselves to love everything about parenting and feel like failures when they don't. She makes some good points which I don't mean to undermine, but I am forced to confess I do not agree with her philosophy. Yes, parenting is hard and full of duties we'd probably rather not do if we viewed them in an emotionless vacuum. However, I would never categorize it, as the writer seems to, as a perpetual battle through each day with one or two golden moments if you're lucky. Maybe it's my age or maybe it's that I just interpret "carpe diem" a little differently. To me, seizing the day is about chasing down as many of those golden moments as possible and, when I can, transforming the harder ones into something more palatable. It means setting different expectations and priorities for this period of my life, realizing that chores can go undone in favor of playing with and enjoying my kids and that societal pressures will not make me feel guilty about it (most days, anyway).
If you look at the blogs I follow, you will see a number of women whose children have died or are dying. Closer to home, my cousin and my niece have both buried children. I do not presume to speak for any of them, but I feel safe in saying that they would all feel unfathomable joy to be given the chance to endure the toughest of hurdles or deepest of embarrassments that parenting has to offer if it meant having their precious babies back with them. The things that make the rest of us count the hours until bedtime would mean something much different to these mothers. So, when my perspective is not enough, I borrow theirs. I love the golden moments for my own sake and love the miserable ones for their sakes.
To borrow the writer's analogy, I'm not waiting until I reach the summit of Mt. Everest to enjoy the view. It's always possible I'll never make it that far. I'm going to love the climb and give thanks for all the ground I cover and every view along the way.