The Best Parenting Advice You’ll Ever Get

parenting-adviceIt’s been two hours, and we haven’t heard a single noise from the top of the stairs. A few years ago I would have been panicked. Quiet from the other room could only mean one thing: disaster.

Quiet was rare then.

Noise was a constant.

How I longed for the opposite, longed for the nights when she would disappear into her room and not come out 37 times during the evening hours with requests for a glass of water, to pee because she’d just drank an entire glass of water, a blanket because she was cold, a blanket that wasn’t quite so heavy because she was hot, a glass of water because she was thirsty, to pee because she’d just drank another glass of water …

If I could just have some peace, I wished. Just a little bit. One night a week, even.

Now there’s peace in our house. Too much peace.

“Do you want to watch a movie with us?” I call up the stairs. “Maybe later,” comes the response.

She’s got things to do, people to iMessage and YouTube shows to watch. She’s got books to read and dreams to dream. Where curiosity about what it was the adults were doing downstairs after bedtime once sent her scurrying up and down the stairs over and over throughout the evening hours, her interest in us has begun to wane. If anything, she’d much prefer we cut out that whole sharing business because “Do we really need to talk about EVERYTHING? Gawd, Mom and Dad!”

Don’t get her started on how horrifying it is when her parents kiss each other … or say “I love you.” To one another.

She’ll be in her room, pretending that her parents aren’t disgusting and embarrassing, thank you very much.

She’ll be in her room. And we’ll be left with the quiet.

What I wished for so fervently has come to pass, and I’m not so sure I want it anymore. Could it be I miss the noise? The thousand and one questions? The lack of space? The lack of privacy? The requirement that I share every waking moment (and more than a few of the sleeping ones too)?

I do.

And somehow, I know, I’ll never get it back.

If there’s any one common thread running through the lives of parents in myriad households, it’s this: we need to be careful making wishes. All too often they come true.

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