I Don’t Want To

School nights go by so fast.  It seems like from the moment I get home until I tuck those lightning rods in their beds I am living in a dream that I have super speed.  All moments like a hummingbird wing.  You can barely see the individual thrusts of the wing but you know it’s happening.

Take your shoes downstairs.

Where’s your homework?

Let’s do your reading.

Hey kiddo, want to help momma with dinner?

Push in the chairs.

Time to make your lunch.

School nights are just preparation for school days.  It is very similar to digging trenches before battle.

Okay, that might be a little exaggeration.

Last night as my eldest son was making his lunch he cried out,

“But, I don’t want to!”

And then I let ’em have it.  No, I did not yell at him about gratefulness or smack him in the back of his head.  I didn’t punish him or add an extra chore for whining.

I stopped what I was doing and I told him the truth.

Do you have any idea how many things I do every day that I do not want to do?


It’s true.

You see, my children have the same dream of adulthood that I did as a child.  That all adults live in a state of doing what they want all the time. So I recited the list in an effort to crush that dream.

Waking up before I am ready. Pumping my own gas. Washing dishes. Wiping butts.  Writing reports. Attending graduation ceremonies or awards banquets of any kind.

But Mom. I was in gymnastics and you came to all of my awards banquets.

Yep, they are super boring and I did it because I love you.  Let me continue.

I do not like parades, sledding or being in the cold at all, ever.  I hate folding socks.  I swear a little bit of your soul dies every time you have to match a pair of socks. 

And then I stopped.

Here’s the thing.  There is a lot of hard work involved with living.  Not all of it is super fabulous fun.  However, if you do it right, everything you do is in preparation for something amazing.  Tomorrow, you get to go to school and have a great lunch with your friends.  This little bit of sandwich making will be worth it tomorrow when you’re hungry from all of that learning.


And then I took my own advice and went to fold socks so that little toes could be warm on their way to school.

Parenting is full of things we don’t want to do but if it’s done right, it all leads to something amazing.



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7 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To

  1. My apologies if this sounds all Holy-Roller… We’ve discussed that even Jesus wasn’t too psyched about his crucifixion (Luke 22:42) and He was, well, JESUS! So yeah, we all have to do stuff we don’t want to.

    1. That’s a great point, Wendy. There are so many great examples of people who have done great things that were very challenging too. Thank you for that added layer of perspective. I hadn’t thought of that. :)

  2. “So I recited the list in an effort to crush that dream.”

    Love this comment! Reminds me that sometimes parenting isn’t all eloquent & whimsical. Sometimes it just has to be rooted in the nitty gritty truth in order to teach our children a bit of reality! ;)

  3. Just think of how in a couple of years everything will be set on cruise control. Especially when they are making the dinner, completely cleaning the house, driving to the store to pick up something you forgot. At that time when you sit there is when you think about those lighting rods and school is over.
    Yes enjoy every waking moment of it.

  4. I really enjoyed this…blog(?), I guess… I’m so technologically lame at times… But, really… Very well-written, with a calculated twist of humor and wit that feels satisfyingly cozy for parenthood.
    I’m planning on printing this and sending it to my five year old’s teacher to do with as she pleases, but i suspect she’ll make copies and send one home to each parent.

    @Vilma….you only WANT to look forward to parenthood?! Hey, let us all know when you cross over to actually looking forward to it. No rush….you are young!

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