When I was pregnant the first time, as I thought nervously about what might lie ahead, I asked my dad if he ever regretted having kids. His answer was emphatic: no, not once. Well, girls, I am here to tell you a real and terrible truth. I don't want the haze of distant years and revisionist history to alter what I am about to tell you. I want to face it head on and I want each of you, if you contemplate parenthood someday, to know the whole story.
Girls, I want you to BE PREPARED.
The truth is, you will regret having children almost every day. The days you don't regret having children will be the days that your husband is home and he feeds them and puts them to bed. Or the days when you work an especially long day at your part-time job and come home and find everyone sleeping. Or during nap time, up until three o'clock when Arthur is over and the baby wakes up. Other than those days, girls, you will regret parenthood every evening around dinnertime. As the brown rice cooks and the baby is eating chocolate chips from the floor and your three-year-old is pulling out the Jenga pieces while you try to get your six-year-old to play "A Dog Named Bright" over and over again with perfect piano hands, you will regret parenthood. You will regret parenthood when you step on a stray MultiGrain Cheerio on your freshly vacuumed floor. You will regret parenthood when you have to pretend that you are a bear who is nineteen and you have no friends. You will regret parenthood when you are standing in yoga pants in twenty-five degree weather, helping up snowsuit bound ice skaters who fall again and again but aren't ready to leave.
But here's another truth, girls, and listen carefully. Those moments when you regret parenthood? They will be fleeting, the briefest scent of freedom, quickly replaced by a deep, certain feeling that you only get when you know you've really hit on the truth. Every day, sometimes every hour, you will stop and think THIS, this is one of only a few things I am sure about.
And pretty soon, girls, you'll be all grown up, and this big house will yearn for yells and spills, and when you come to me and ask if I ever regretted having kids, I'll only remember to tell you about the true things and say, no, not once.