Task or Treat - by Donna-Jean Brown

I’m not always thrilled by children. There, I said it.

They’re frequently noisy and dirty and rarely genteel. They don’t care whether I approve of their behaviour. They’re not the best of listeners and are, in fact, highly skilled at ignoring me, unless I want to be alone.
I have felt this way ever since my first baby screamed right in my face after I’d rocked, sung, patted and walked for hours. She didn’t seem to understand that she was at the mercy of an exhausted, overwhelmed maniac, ten times her size. She even felt free to vomit on me.

Nevertheless, I willingly chose the task of raising three kids. Mind you, I didn’t read the small print to check the end-date of the contract and now my job description has expanded to include four grandchildren. No one invited me to the renegotiation meeting. The task of spending time with noisy, dirty, children continues.

But then there’s the treat I mentioned in the title. Prepare for gleeful explosion. I love children!

What could melt your heart more than feeling a warm little body lean into you as you read those charming storybooks?

When could you laugh harder than when you have a hoola hoop contest with a three year old and it’s impossible to tell who’s worse? How could you have more fun than when you play tackle football with little people who don’t care where the goalposts are or what team we’re on?

What could inspire you more than a six year old who gets up weeping from a fall off his bike and gets right back on the darn thing?

And later in life, much, much later, where can you discover greater joy than in holding your first grandchild in your (saggy, spotted) arms – the whole earth quivers with delight.

Donna-Jean is a native Torontonian and some-time writer, who finds life continually surprising.  She is mother of 3 and grandmother of 3 (with one more on the way any day now).

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