Parenting in the Fire Swamp

My sweet precious lamb of a 9-month-old has yet to sleep much in her lifetime. Which recently gave me the opportunity to reflect on the last time we were in the throes of sleep deprivation and general insanity. I remembered this post I wrote a few years ago and decided to bring it over. It is like my 2013 experienced mom self  was writing directly to my 2016 new mom self. =)


From Stinker Babies ~ January 28, 2013 

The other night, Jake and I were flipping through the channels hoping to find something on TV that did not involve mighty math powers or latch-key bunnies.  (Seriously, where are  the adults in Max & Ruby?)

I squealed when we came across one of the greatest movies in the history of mankind.

The Princess Bride.
Buttercup had just tossed Wesley down the hill and we were already reciting the lines right along with them.

As the two lovebirds bravely headed off into the fire swamp, I had the most incredible epiphany.

Parenting is like the fire swamp.  The fire swamp is parenting.  Mind = blown.

All the ups and downs of sleepless nights and diaper explosions and teething and potty training and the Terrible Twos and Traumatic Threes and Frustrating Fours and…okay, you get the picture.

“It’s not that bad.  Well, I’m not saying I’d like to build a summer home here but the trees are actually quite lovely.”

We make it through the days of packing up the entire house to run to the grocery store.   We survive the sleep deprivation.  We celebrate the end of potty training.  And after a bit, we look back and we see the loveliness of the trees.

But just when we’ve mastered one phase, a new challenge is on the horizon.  Eventually, we’ll realize we’ve learned and grown.  We’ll hear the pops that precede a flame spurt and know how to avoid the fire.

“Well, one thing I will say.  The fire swamp certainly does keep you on your toes.  This will all soon be but a happy memory.”

There will be days, though, when we find ourselves feeling defeated and discouraged.  Maybe we might even find ourselves having a day when we’re sobbing on the kitchen floor.

“We’ll never succeed.  We may as well die here.”

Even though Buttercup is a bit of a drama queen, that attitude is sometimes familiar.  But!  We can’t give up.  We can do it!  Think about all the challenges we’ve faced.  Think of all the ways we’ve learned and grown.  We are growing daily as we’re molded and shaped by our experiences.

“No, no.  We have already succeeded.  I mean, what are the three terrors of the fire swamp?  One, the flame spurt.  No problem.  There’s a popping sound preceding each.  We can avoid that.  Two, the lightning sand, but you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that, too.”

I know what you’re thinking.

What about the R.O.U.S.s?

That’s why we have each other.  In parenting, it is so extremely important to have some sort of community.  We’ve got each other’s backs.  We can do this together!

Together, we can make it through this fire swamp.  And one day?  (Maybe even many years from now.)  But, one day, we’ll look back on the “terrors” of the fire swamp and our first thought will be, “How lovely were the trees.”